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SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DISORDER

Abstract

This paper talks about speech and language disorders. It focuses on what the

definitions of the disorder are, statistics of the disorder, characteristics associated with

the disorder, classroom issues, and treatment as it is provided in school. The overview

talks about communication as a whole, and other disorders that can be related to speech

and language disorders. The statistic section gives facts about how many people are

affected by the disorders and gender issues relating. The characteristics section focuses

on the different aspects of speech and language disorders and how behavior is affected

due to the disorder. Classroom issues talk about how teachers feel about having

students with this disability in their class, and children express their views about

therapy and the implications of having the disorder. The treatment section mentions a

few different ways to help a child with a speech and language disorder in the school.

Full Report

Overview

Communicating with others (friends, family, teachers, etc.) is a natural part of most

people’s daily lives. It is so natural that most of us do not even think about it when we are

communicating. However, some people are not as fortunate as others are. The reason for this is

that many people are categorized as having a speech or language disorder. Although speech and
language can be two separate entities, they go together hand-in-hand.

A speech disorder is not as straightforward as it sounds. There are many different


aspects that are part of speech disorders. A speech disorder is not just a difficulty in producing
sound, but also a disorder involving the quality of a person’s voice, or their fluency of speech

(Turnbull, Turnbull, Shank, & Smith, 2004). Speech disorders also may be related to other
disorders.

A language disorder also involves many different things. A person with a language

disorder has problems receiving, understanding and formulating what they read, what other

people say, or even things they want to say (Turnbull, et al., 2004). This difficulty can affect the

way a person lives their life from day to day, whether it be at home, work, or school. Language
disorders are also related to other disorders.

Speech and language disorders can be related to other disorders, or can stand-

alone. Some of the other disorders it is related to are cleft palate or lip, hearing loss, auditory

processing disorder, autism, and cerebral palsy. With a cleft palate or lip, the person has a split

in the upper part of the oral cavity or upper lip, which results in the difficulty of speech

(Turnbull, et al., 2004). A person with a hearing impairment can have a total loss of hearing

(deafness) or a partial loss of hearing. The disability affects the way a person speaks and

communicated with others. An auditory processing disorder is where a person can hear

information, but has trouble understanding, remembering, or recognizing the information

(Ciocci, 2002). This can affect a person negatively when it comes to speech and language if
they have to sit in on a meeting or a lecture.

Those with autism have two main language impairments, delayed language and

echolalia. Delayed language indicates that the person can only focus on one thing at a time, and

has limited communication abilities. Echolalia is where the person repeats everything they hear

(like a child learning to talk) because they do not know how to respond properly (Turnbull, et

al., 2004). People who suffer from cerebral palsy have a hard time expressing themselves and
have articulation problems because they can not organize the muscles around their mouth and
throat. (Turnbull, et al., 2004).

Many authors have shown that an early language delay can be related to later speech

difficulties. There are many factors that can cause a speech and language disorder. Hearing,

health and medical problems can also cause the disorder to occur. Medical problems are

associated with a woman’s pregnancy and birth. However, oromotor and feeding history have
the most effect on speech disorders (Broomfield & Dodd, 2004).

There have been many studies done in regards to speech and language disorders. These

studies have helped in determining gender-based statistics, as well as finding out the

characteristics of the disorder. The impact of speech and language disorders in the classroom

and treatment as it relates to the classroom has also been studied. This paper is designed to

inform readers of the statistics, characteristics, classroom impact, and treatment of speech and
language disorders in children.

Statistics

Roughly five percent of all youth, aged from birth to twenty-one years old, has speech or

language impairments (Turnbull, et al., 2004). Out of this group, 19.2 percent are receiving

some form of special education. By the time children enter the first grade, five percent are

diagnosed with speech disorders (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication

Disorders, 2004). There are more than 160 cases of Landau-Kieffner Syndrome (LKS), a

childhood disorder that involves a loss in the ability to understand and use language (National

Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, 2004). Between six and eight

million Americans have some kind of language impairment. Boys are more apt to have a speech
or language impairment than girls. For speech disorders the ratio is 1.5 : 2.4, male : female, and
for language disorders the ratio is varied on a scale from .98 : 1 to 2.30 : 1, males : females

(National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, 2004). Communication

disorders affect one out of every ten people in the Unites States and more than one million

students had a speech or language impairment for the 2000-2001 school year
(NationalDissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2004).

Characteristics

There are many characteristics that are associated with speech and language

disorders. These characteristics range from subtypes of the disorder to behavior related

issues. There are four subtypes to speech disorders and four subtypes associated with language

disorders. The four characteristics associated with speech disorders are articulation disorder,

apraxia of speech, voice disorder, fluency disorder (Turnbull, et al., 2004). The four

characteristics of language disorders are phonological delay, consistent deviant phonological

disorder, inconsistent deviant phonological disorder, and articulation disorder (Broomfield &
Dodd, 2004).

Articulation disorder in regards to speech disorders is where a child has trouble

producing sounds and sound combinations of speech correctly (Turnbull, et al., 2004). This can
take many forms. A child may replace, take out, add, or change sounds or sound

combinations. This type of speech disorder can be mild or moderate and is one of the most
frequent disorders in pre-school and school-aged children.

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder, which affects the production of

speech. Apraxia of speech can be developmental or it can be caused by outside factors. Some

of these factors include a stroke, tumor, or head injury. Students with apraxia have problems

with the movement of speech. They have trouble using long words or sentences when they are
under pressure. They also have errors in the production of vowels, inconsistent speech errors,
voicing errors, along with others (Turnbull, et al., 2004).

Voice disorders occur when pitch, duration, intensity, resonance, and vocal quality of a

person are not normal. Pitch is the rate of vibration of the vocal fold. Duration is how long a

speech is required. Intensity is the loudness or softness of a person’s voice. Resonance is the

expected quality of a person’s voice, and vocal quality is affected by problems of breath support
and resonance (Turnbull, et al., 2004).

A fluency disorder deals with the flow of speaking. For example, does a person talk

smoothly and naturally? When this flow is interrupted a person can be diagnosed with a fluency

disorder. Interruptions in the flow of speaking include, but are not limited to, hesitations,
repeating words, using umm to frequently, or stuttering when speaking (Turnbull, et al., 2004).

A phonological delay is where a person uses incorrect pronunciation as well as the

inability to distinguish sound differences in their use of meaning changes. Different letter

combinations make different sounds and someone with a phonological delay cannot distinguish

between the different sounds (Turnbull, et al., 2004). This delay is more typical in younger

children (Broomfield & Dodd, 2004). Consistent and inconsistent deviant phonological

disorders are also part of the phonological delay. A person with a consistent deviant

phonological disorder uses some developmental rules, which may be correct for their age group

(Broomfield & Dodd, 2004). A person with an inconsistent deviant phonological disorder can
produce some words differently some of the time, but not all (Broomfield & Dodd, 2004).

Speech and language disorders can also cause problem behaviors in some children.

According to Huaqing Qi and Kaiser (2004), this can be due to the fact that children with speech

and language disorders may have trouble communicating with their peers while playing or
solving problem. These problem behaviors include physical aggression, lying, running away,
hyperactivity, impulsive behavior along with others (Lochman & Szczepanski, as cited in

Huaqing Qi & Kaiser, 2004). Children with language disorders interact with their peers less

than children without language disorders. However, their interaction with adults is the same as

children without language disorders. Children with speech and language disorders may exhibit

more problem behavior and interact socially with peers less often then children without speech

and language problems because of their frustration at not being able to communicate with others
as freely (Huaqing Qi & Kaiser, 2004).

Classroom Issues

Children with speech and language disorders have a harder time in the classroom than

children without speech and language disorders. Reading, reading comprehension, spelling,

writing, and mathematics were studied by Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, and Stackhouse

(2004) to see how these subjects affected those with speech and language disorders. There were

five levels (level 3, level 2c, level 2b, level 2a, level 1) a child could score in, with level one

being the lowest and level three being the highest. Children were expected to receive a level
two or above on the tests.

The reading comprehension test tested a child’s ability to read something by themselves
and then answer questions based on what they had just read by writing down their answers

(Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, & Stackhouse, 2004). 73.8 percent of the children tested

received a score at a level two or above and 26.2 percent of the children scored at a level one or

below. The reading test was designed to assess a child’s ability to read out loud without faults

and talk about what they read to show they understood it. 78.6 percent of the children tested

received a score at a level two or above and 21.4 percent scored at a level one or below

(Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, & Stackhouse, 2004). A teacher administers the writing test. It

is designed to test the child’s ability to communicate what they mean into words, and to also use
correct punctuation and spelling. The child’s handwriting must also be legible. 83.3 percent of
the children tested received a score at a level two or above and 16.7 percent scored at a level one

or below (Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, & Stackhouse, 2004). The spelling test checked the

child’s ability to spell words that they don’t normally use. These words could have one or more

syllables and also may have more than one spelling (i.e. their, there, they’re). 57.1 percent of

the children received a score at a level two or above and 42.9 percent scored at a level one or

below (Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, & Stackhouse, 2004). The mathematics test required the

children to read a problem and then write down their answers (Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, &

Stackhouse, 2004). 95.2 percent of the children tested received a score at a level two or above
and 4.8 percent scored at a level one or below.

The scores varied from test to test with children scoring high on some and low on

others. The low scores for reading and spelling follow the consistent pattern that children with

speech and language disorders have problems with literacy. The reading comprehension test

may not have been very accurate because the children could have been able to know what was

going on in the book based on the pictures that they saw. Punctuation and spelling in the writing
test was not a problem to children with speech and language disorders (Goulandris, et al., 2004).

Dockell and Lindsay (2001) studied how teachers felt about having students with speech

and language disorders in their classrooms. Some teachers may find themselves in the middle

when it comes to educating children with speech and language disorders. While it is their job to

teach, many teachers may feel that they do not have the qualifications or training to teach a child

with this disorder. Some teachers also may find it stressful having a child with a disability in
their class.

When teachers were asked to define what a speech and language disorder was, many

teachers did not know. About 40 percent did not think they could give any information on what

the disorder was (Dockell & Lindsay, 2001). While many teachers can report the strengths of a
child, they could not report them in any one area. Some teachers felt there wasn’t enough
involvement from the speech and language therapist. They felt the speech and language

therapist only came to the classroom when asked (Dockell & Lindsay, 2001). Based on this

study, the main things teachers need are appropriate training to work with children with speech
and language disorders, and more involvement from the speech and language therapist.

Since most times the children are taken out of the classroom for speech and language

therapy, it is very important to know their views. It is also important to know their views on

how they feel about having their disability. Their peers obviously know where they are

going. Many young people preferred one-on-one therapy as opposed to group therapy (Hayett,

Owen, & Roulstone, 2004). Most children talked about the games and activities they did in

therapy, and overall seemed to enjoy it. These children were also okay with being taken out of

the class for their therapy. They did not feel scrutinized. Many children said they have trouble

in school with their peers both physically and verbally as a result of their speech and language

disorder. Overall, most students are concerned with having friends and getting on at school
(Hayett, et al., 2004).

Treatment

There are a variety of treatment programs at school that can be offered to help a
child. One method for helping children with speech and language disorders is to have teachers

adopt the International Phonetic Alphabet. This alphabet provides symbols to indicate all

speech sounds in the world. This helps children who have difficulty with the sounds of letters

and letter combinations. By using this alphabet teachers can more easily figure out when a child

is having an error in sounds (Rahilly, 2002). Another method for helping children is the

traditional model of service provision. It is clinic based and has one speech and language

therapist for one child (Law, Lindsay, Peacey, Gascoigne, Soloff, Radford, & Band,

2002). Consultation is another method for helping children with speech and language
disorders. Instead of having direct work with children, the speech and language therapist works
closely with the classroom teacher, parent, or other professionals involved with the

student. Consultation cannot work if there is not enough time for discussion of what needs to be

done. This model helps a child learn by going beyond what is said and done in the classroom
(Law, et al., 2002).

A fourth method for helping children is the collaborative approach. A team is made up

of the speech and language therapist, teacher, parent, key-worker, and child do develop a

program that will be effective to help the child (Hirst & Britton, 1998). According to this

model, a child will get a more effective support network if others are involved in the child’s

learning process, not just the speech and language therapist (Hirst & Britton, 1998). Greenspan

(2004) provided some suggestions for teachers in helping children with speech and language

disorders. Some of these suggestions are to have opportunities for classmates to have

discussions with each other. This will help them to talk more and be more confident when they

talk. Call on the child during group time so they get comfortable talking in front of

others. Work with the parent, child, and speech therapist in helping the child learn different
sounds. Playing little games can be a great resource.

Summary

This paper has examined what a speech and language disorder is and the counterparts

related to the disorder. The overview stated the definitions of a speech and language disorder

and also gave insight as to what other disorders are related to it. The statistics showed that

speech and language disorders are not uncommon and that it affects mostly the male gender. It

was noted that there are four subtypes to speech disorders and also four subtypes to language

disorders. Children with speech and language disorders also exhibit some behavioral problems

due to their lack of communication. It was shown that children with this disability have a harder

time in the classroom when five comprehensive tests were given. It was also found that teachers
do not know how to describe what the disorder is and they have some reservations about these
children being in their classroom. Children expressed how they felt about having a speech or

language disorder and also gave their views on what it is like having to go to speech and

language therapy. Different methods and suggestions were given to parents and teachers to help

children with speech and language disorders.

Related Websites

http://www.asha.org/students/profession/overview/sld.htm

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/not_talk.html

This site is for parents who have children with delayed speech or langauge development

References

References

(2004, January). Speech and language


impairments. National Dissemination Center for Children with
Disabilities. Retrieved November 9, 2004,
from http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/factshe/fs11txt.htm
(2004, June). Statistics in voice, speech, and language. National Institute on Deafness
and Other Communication Disorders, Retrieved November 9, 2004,
from http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/vsl.asp

Broomfield, J., & Dodd, B. (2004, June). The nature of referred subtypes of primary
speech disability. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 20(2), 135-151.

Ciocci, S. R. (2002). Central auditory processing disorders. Office of Educational


Research and Improvement.

Dockrell, J. E., & Lindsay, G. (2001, September). Children with specific speech and
language difficulties-the teachers’ perspective. Oxford Review of
Education, 27(3), 369-394.

Greenspan, S. (2004, January/February). Working with the child who has delayed
speech. Early Childhood Today, 18(4), 22.

Hirst, E., & Britton, L. (1998). Specialized service to children with specific language
impairment in mainstream schools. International Journal of Language and
Communication Disorders, 33(Suppl), 593-598.

earning processes and practices(Shumbayaonda and Maringe, 2000).


Pupil-centred teaching methods: According to Shumbayaonda and Maringe (2000), these are
learner-centred
teaching methods in which the pupil has power and control in determining both the outcome and
pace of the
learning process. The learner is not only active but has power to control the learning process as
in open and
distance learning.
3. An Overview of Teaching and Learning Approaches
According to Petty (2004) teaching methods are measured on a continuum of two extremes as
illustrated below:
Instructor Control is shared between Facilitator
Teacher is in control teacher and learner Learner is in control
The above continuum poses the question: who should have control over learning, the teacher or
learner?
Petty (2004) identifies three sets of teaching methods: teacher-centred methods, active methods
and student-
centred methods. These methods are represented on the above continuum by teacher as
instructor; teacher and
learner sharing control; and teacher as facilitator respectively. Teaching and learning can take
any of these
positions or any other variations on the continuum. Petty (2004) sees lecture, demonstration,
questioning, notes
and handouts as highly teacher-centred methods; supervised student practice, discussion, group
work and student
talk, games and active learning methods, role-play, drama and simulations, seminars and whole-
class interactive
teaching as active methods in which control is shared between teacher and learner; and reading
for learning,
private study and homework, assignments and projects, essays and reports, guided discovery,
learning from
experience, independent learning and self-directed learning as student-centred methods in which
learner is in
control and teacher takes facilitator role.
Since this paper is guided by learner-centred methods let us explore the concept in more detail.
Learner-centred methods of teaching are derived from constructivism, a group of theories that
see effective
learning as experiential learning through real life experience. Constructivism advocates for
problem based
adaptive learning that integrates new knowledge with existing knowledge and allows for creation
of original
work or innovative procedures. It envisages a self-directed, creative, and innovative learner. In
this context the
learning goal is the highest order of learning like practical problem solving, creativity, and
originality.
Montessori (1946) observes that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural
process
spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but
by experiences
upon the environment. Thus, the constructivist approach to teaching and learning encourages
learners to arrive at
their version of truth, as influenced by their background, culture or embedded worldview. It has
been established
that children develop their thinking abilities by interacting with other people and the physical
world around them
(Montessori, 1946). According to social constructivists, it is therefore important to consider the
learners’
background and their culture throughout their learning process. According to Wertsch (1997),
this background
helps to shape the knowledge and truth that learners create, discover and attain in the learning
process. As
observed by Glasersfeld (1989), the responsibility of learning should increasingly reside with the
learner.
Constructivists, therefore, emphasize the importance of the learner being actively involved in the
learning
process. This is very different from traditional educational viewpoints in which the responsibility
of ensuring
that learning occurs rests with the instructor. In traditional approaches to learning the learner
plays a passive,
receptive role. Glasersfeld (1989) argues that learners construct their own understanding. They
do not simply
mirror and reflect what they read.
According to constructivists, instructors should simply become facilitators, not traditional
teachers.
The major difference between the traditional teacher and the facilitator is that where the teacher
lectures and tries
his level best to pour drums of information into learners’ heads, the facilitator helps the learner to
organise and
understand information some of which the learner already has albeit in disorganized forms. In
the teacher
ideological approach to learning, learners play a passive role. In the facilitator ideological
approach to learning,
learners play an active role in the learning process. Therefore, the degree of emphasis is what
matters here. In
facilitation emphasis turns away from the instructor and the content towards the learner. Thus, a
facilitator needs
to display a totally different set of skills than a teacher. Where teachers tell, facilitators ask.
Where teachers
lecture from the front, facilitators support from the back. Where teachers give answers according
to set curricula,
facilitators provide guidelines and create the environment for learners to arrive at their own
conclusions. Where
Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol.6, No.9, 2015
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teachers mostly give monologues, facilitators are in continuous dialogue with learners (Petty,
2004).
Generally speaking, as observed by the Society for Quality Education (accessed on 4 November,
2013),
in a classroom situation, a pupil-centred teacher tries to create an environment which will
motivate the pupils to
discover new skills and knowledge. The current thinking is that teachers should not simply
transfer facts into
passive students' heads. Rather they should facilitate their discovery of relevant information.
From this line of
thinking, teachers should not always stand in front of the class and teach a lesson. Instead,
activity centres should
be set up around the room with the children moving from one point to another. Students may also
be assigned to
work together in groups on a project.
From the foregoing, a teacher may use the following pupil-centred and independent study
teaching
methods: reading; private study; homework; field projects; class and seminar presentations; and
project reports.
Most of these approaches call for effective communication, usually a big challenge to students
with
communication disorders. This paper addresses this issue so as to come up with
recommendations on how to
deal with the challenge.
4. Problem Statement
One of the major purposes of school education centres on verbal communication. This involves
effective
transmission and exchange of opinions and ideas verbally. It has been established that when
school children have
communication disorders, such disorders are most likely to negatively affect their speech and
language
development. According to Cooley (2007), this results in these students falling behind both
socially and
academically. As observed by Yanoff (2007), the end result is that more learning disabilities
form as a
consequence of communication disorders, especially in reading. This paper thus addresses these
problems and
challenges so as to come up with ways of overcoming the challenges to ensure effective learning
among students
with communication disorders.
5. The Challenge of Communication Disorder
According to Brice (2012),it has been established that learners with communication disorders
have serious
deficits in their ability to communicate. Usually a communication disorder occurs in one’s ability
to use
language, speech and hearing. Language difficulties are summarised into spoken language,
reading and writing
difficulties. Speech disorders centre on articulation and phonology, fluency (stuttering), and
voice challenges.
Hearing difficulties express themselves in speech problems as in articulation / voice and
language problems.
Examples of hearing impairments include deafness and hearing loss, which can result from a
conductive loss, a
sensorineural loss, a mixed loss, or a central hearing loss (Brice, 2012).
Communication disorders result from many different situations or sources. For example,
according to
Brice (2012) language-based learning disabilities emanate from differences in brain structure at
birth. In most
cases, this challenge is genetically based. Other communication disorders are a result of oral-
motor difficulties;
difficulties resulting from a stroke which may involve motor, speech and/or language problems;
traumatic brain
injuries; and stuttering, which is now believed to be a neurological deficit. According to Brice
(2012), the most
common conditions affecting children's communication include language-based learning
disabilities, attention
deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, cerebral palsy, mental disabilities, cleft lip
or palate, and
autism spectrum disorders.
Thus, communication disorders range from sound substitutions to the inability to use speech and
language. According to the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (2001),
children with
communication disorders usually show delays or a typical development in one or more of the
following areas:
articulation; fluency; language comprehension; language production; morphology; phonology;
pragmatics;
semantics; syntax; and voice.
6. Categories of Communication Disorder
According to Sices, Taylor, Freebairn, Hansen and Lewis (2007), communication disorders are
categorised into
expressive language disorders, mixed receptive-expressive language disorders, stuttering and
phonological
disorders. Expressive language disorders are characterised by difficulty in expressing oneself
beyond simple
sentences and a limited vocabulary. In this case one understands language better than he / she is
able to say it.He
/ she may have a lot to say but have difficulties organising and retrieving the words to get an idea
across beyond
what is expected for his/her developmental stage. Mixed receptive-expressive language disorders
comprise
problems in understanding the commands of others. Stuttering involves a break in fluency, where
sounds,
syllables or words may be repeated or prolonged. Phonological disorder is characterised by
problems in making
patterns of sound errors, for example dat for that.
7. Characteristics of Pupils with Communication Disorders
According to Brice (2012), children with communication problems present many different
symptoms. Some of
Journal of Education and Practice www.iiste.org
ISSN 2222-1735 (Paper) ISSN 2222-288X (Online)
Vol.6, No.9, 2015
21
such symptoms include difficulty in following directions; problems in pronouncing words;
failing to express
oneself; problems in paying attention to a conversation; problems in understanding what was
said; and
challenges of being understood because of a stutter or a hoarse voice. Their problems with
language involve
difficulty in learning new vocabulary, understanding questions, expressing ideas coherently,
following directions,
recalling information, understanding and remembering something that has just been said, reading
at a
satisfactory pace, comprehending spoken or read material, learning the alphabet, identifying
sounds that
correspond to letters, perceiving the correct order of letters in words, and possibly, spelling.
Their difficulties
with speech may include being unintelligible due to a motor problem or due to poor learning.
Sounding hoarse,
breathy or harsh may be due to a voice problem. Stuttering also affects speech intelligibility
because the child's
flow of speech is interrupted.
According to Brice (2012), many of the communication problems can be improved by therapy. It
is
however, important to note that some of these problems may never be cured (e.g., attention
deficit or
stuttering).Nevertheless, children can still learn new strategies to overcome such difficulties.
Also experience has
shown that quite a significant number of children overcome their deficits as they grow older
(e.g., mild language
delays).In the modern world many children with these deficits compensate by communicating
through electronic
means (e.g., an augmentative communication device or hearing aid) (Brice, 2012).
8. The Impact of Communication Disorders on Learning
According to Brice (2012),there is a strong relationship between communication and academic
achievement. He
believes that language and communication proficiency, together with academic success depend
on whether
students can match their communications to the learning-teaching style of the classroom.
Brice (2012) further observes that, given the correct environment, pupils with communication
disorders can
produce excellent academic results. They only need to learn the classroom's social, language, and
learning
patterns. As such, teachers have to put their attention on classroom interactions and the language
and
communications used within the school to help students learn to communicate in these
environments. According
to Brice (2012), explicit language and communication planning and non-deliberate language use
(e.g.,
unconscious choice of language) are important features of the school and class environments that
provide
opportunities for teaching and learning.
9. Recommendations for Handling Children with Communication Disorders
According to Cooley (2007), pupils with communication disorders should be assisted by speech
therapists in the
classroom. It is however important to note that in developing countries like Zimbabwe this may
not be feasible.
Cooley (2007) believes that working with a speech therapist will immensely help the teacher to
work with pupils
with speech and language disorders. He further observes that additionally, the following tips may
be helpful in
the inclusive setting:
• showing understanding, patience, and acceptance;
• provision of extra time to answer questions;
• encouragement of speech practice by having one-on-one conversations with the student about
his or her
interests;
• keeping lectures clear, simple, pronounced, and in proper language syntax (no slang);
• making eye contact with the student when listening and speaking;
• repeating mispronounced phrases properly as a question so it does not seem like criticism;
• never mimicking a child with a speech disorder;
• not avoiding calling on children with language development problems;
• making sure the student speaks in front of the class, answers a question, etc. at least once per
day;
• setting up practice verbal skills sessions between pairs of students where they read aloud, work
on a
problem orally, or play games that encourage speech;
• not tolerating teasing or bullying by other students;
• not pointing out communication disorders to others in the class; and
• keeping the classroom environment relaxed and organised (Cooley, 2007).
In conclusion, therefore, working with children with communication disorders is a challenge that
requires well-trained and experienced professionals. In these circumstances, teachers can be of
great help if they
learn about the particular speech and language disorder afflicting the student. In permitting
environments the
teachers then follow applicable specific teaching strategies, and work cooperatively with the
child’s speech
therapist either within the classroom setting or externally. It has been observed that in many
cases, a child with
speech problems will achieve normal language development and outgrow their issues by
adulthood, especially
with the proper support and understanding.
Classroom Challenges: Working with Pupils with Communication Disorders. (PDF Download
Available). Available from:
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/274377153_Classroom_Challenges_Working_with_Pu
pils_with_Communication_Disorders [accessed Aug 29, 2017].