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.
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
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
language disorder also involves many different things.
A person with a language disorder has problems
receiving, understanding and formulating what they read, what other
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
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
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
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,
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
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
not organize the muscles around their mouth and throat.
(Turnbull, et al., 2004).
authors have shown that an early language delay can be related to later
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).
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
disorder. The impact of speech and
language disorders in the classroom and treatment as it relates to the
has also been studied. This paper is
designed to inform readers of the statistics, characteristics,
impact, and treatment of speech and language disorders in children.
five percent of all youth, aged from birth to twenty-one years old, has
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
disorders (National Institute on Deafness and other Communication
2004). There are more than 160 cases of
Landau-Kieffner Syndrome (LKS), a childhood disorder that involves a
the ability to understand and use language (National Institute on
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
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
one million students had a speech or language impairment for the
school year (National
for Children with Disabilities, 2004).
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
fluency disorder (Turnbull, et al., 2004).
The four characteristics of language disorders are
consistent deviant phonological disorder, inconsistent deviant
disorder, and articulation disorder (Broomfield & Dodd, 2004).
disorder in regards to speech disorders is where a child has trouble
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
disorders in pre-school and school-aged children.
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,
errors, voicing errors, along with others (Turnbull, et al., 2004).
disorders occur when pitch, duration, intensity, resonance, and vocal
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
of breath support and resonance (Turnbull, et al., 2004).
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
frequently, or stuttering when speaking (Turnbull, et al., 2004).
phonological delay is where a person uses incorrect pronunciation 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
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
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
not all (Broomfield
& Dodd, 2004).
and language disorders can also cause problem behaviors in some
According to Huaqing Qi and Kaiser (2004), this can be due to the fact
children with speech and language disorders may have trouble
their peers while playing or solving problem.
These problem behaviors include physical aggression,
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
speech and language problems because of their frustration at not being
communicate with others as freely (Huaqing Qi & Kaiser, 2004).
with speech and language disorders have a harder time in the classroom
children without speech and language disorders.
reading comprehension, spelling, writing, and mathematics were studied
Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, and Stackhouse (2004) to see how these
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
lowest and level three being the highest.
Children were expected to receive a level two or
above on the tests.
reading comprehension test tested a child’s ability to read something
themselves and then answer questions based on what they had just read
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
level one or below. The reading test was
designed to assess a child’s ability to read out loud without faults
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
(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
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
scored at a level one or below (Goulandris, Nathan, Snowling, &
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,
& Stackhouse, 2004). 95.2 percent of
the children tested received a score at a level two or above and 4.8
scored at a level one or below.
scores varied from test to test with children scoring high on some and
others. The low scores for reading and
spelling follow the consistent pattern that children with speech and
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
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).
and Lindsay (2001) studied how teachers felt about having students with
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
with this disorder. Some teachers also
may find it stressful having a child with a disability in their class.
teachers were asked to define what a speech and language disorder was,
teachers did not know. About 40 percent
did not think they could give any information on what the disorder was
& 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
disorders, and more involvement from the speech and language therapist.
most times the children are taken out of the classroom for speech and
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
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
having friends and getting on at school (Hayett, et al., 2004).
are a variety of treatment programs at school that can be offered to
child. One method for helping children
with speech and language disorders is to have teachers adopt the
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
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
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
process, not just the speech and language therapist (Hirst &
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.
paper has examined what a speech and language disorder is and the
related to the disorder. The overview
stated the definitions of a speech and language disorder and also gave
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
disability have a harder time in the classroom when five comprehensive
were given. It was also found that
teachers do not know how to describe what the disorder is and they have
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
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.