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Speech and Language Disorders

 A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance.



Speech Therapy
  • Originally, largely targeted towards those who were deaf.

  • At the beginning of the 20th century a new group of professionals called speech clinicians emerged.

  • Around then, speech therapy shifted from just an exclusive practice to something more broad for all children and their ability to communicate.


  • Academic; students who have a significant speech or language delay are at higher risk for difficulties in reading, and oftentimes are unable to benefit from the early literacy experiences that are common- so they start out with an academic disadvantage.

  • Social and Emotional; struggling socially, may be the targets of peer teasing, difficulties in social situations, some students may even face challenges because they do not know how to participate in conversations which may lead them to feel socially isolated.

  • Behavior; sometimes resort to inappropriate behaviors because these children do not feel like they can express themselves.

Image by Towfiqu barbhuiya


  • Similar to the process for other disabilities.

  • Intellectual ability is assessed using formal testing.

  • Speech testing is done by a speech pathologist to a student. The main idea of the test is to determine whether a problem with articulation is present.

  • These tests are not enough- they do not capture the way a student speaks in everyday life. Speech pathologists will gather a spontaneous language sample, as well as examples from parents to help with this test. 

  • Language assessments are also done.

  • Screening is completed to determine whether a vision or hearing loss is present.

  •  A dilemma amongst speech professionals is evaluating a student whose native language is not English in this does occur many precautions are to be taken.


  • In early childhood, most children are not given a specific speech and language disability due to the risk or misidentification. 

  • Although it is important to identify this in early education. Some young children receive their services in an early childhood center.

  • Mostly all school age students who have a speech or language disorder receive their education in a typical school setting.

  • Approximately 87% of students with disabilities are educated in general education classrooms.

  • Many elementary aged students will receive speech therapy once or twice awake and the direct services are provided in a separate setting than school.

  • One inclusive strategy is co-teaching. By doing this we can keep all students together in the general education setting, while addressing and helping those students with a speech or language disability.


Recommended Practices

  • Speech-Language Services and Literacy Instruction

  • Communication using technology

  • Augmentative and alternative communication- comprises strategies that compensate for an individual's communication limitations

  • Technology


8 SLP Approved TV Shows for Kids


  • Barney

  • Sesame Street

  • Super Why 

  • Dora the Explorer

  • Word Girl 

  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

  • The Magic School Bus 

  • Between the Lions

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