Speech/Language

Natasha A. Bryant

Background Information

Students classified as having speech or language impairments make up 19.1 % of all students ages 6-21 served under IDEA. They also represent 1.7 % of the school age population. Speech is the system of forming and producing sounds that are key in the foundation of language. Language is the system of communication. Most of the students who receive services for speech and language work either individually or in small groups with a specialists. These sessions usually occur several times a week in brief sessions. There are some cases where speech and language teachers conduct therapy sessions in the general education classroom. Some students may also have other disorders that require Alternative and Augmentative communication devices to assist them with communication.

Key Characteristics

Speech Disorders


· Voice Disorders – Voice Disorders effect volume, pitch, flexibility, and quality of voice. (3-6 % of school age children)

Examples: Speech thqat is chronically strained, hoarse, breathy, or nasal.

· Articulation Disorders – Difficulty pronouncing words, including omissions, additions, distortions, and substitutions. (Largest subgroup of communication disorders)

Example: “wabbits aw fuwwy animals.”

· Fluency Disorders – Interruptions in the natural flow or rhythm of speech. Stuttering is a common communication disorder that involves the repetition, prolongation, or blockage of sounds, syllables, or words. (Normally starts before age 5)


Language Disorders


· Language Disorders are problems in using or comprehending language, either expressive (using) or receptive (understanding).

· Phonology - This is the ability to blend and segment the sounds that individual letters or groups of letters make to form words.

· Morphology – The meaningful structure of words sometimes referred to as morphemes.

· Semantics – The meaning of words.

· Pragmatics – Language in the contest of social situations.

· Syntax – Grammatical structure

· Aphasia – Difficulties with speaking or comprehending language.

James Brinton: SLP in Schools