FAQ Sheet About Students with Communication Disorders
Communication disorders refer to constant problem affecting the way a person verbally interacts with other people and the way other people respond. The table below answers some frequently asked questions on identifying and assessing individuals with communication disorders and describes possible outcomes of the condition.
|Who are they?||Students with communication disorders include those with language disorders, speech disorders, or sometimes a combination of both.|
|What are typical characteristics?||Language disorders include (1) form disorders (difficulty making correct sounds, constructing words, or connecting the words correctly); (2) content or semantic disorders (lack of word-meaning knowledge); and (3) use or pragmatic disorders (application of language in social contexts). Speech disorders include (1) phonological/articulation disorders (distortions, substitutions, or omissions of speech sounds); (2) fluency disorders (the most common is stuttering); (3) voice disorders (e.g., speaking with a harsh or raspy voice); and (4) motor speech disorders (difficulty using the physical components of speech, often due to a neuromuscular disorder such as cerebral palsy).|
|What are the demographics?||About 2.3% of children enrolled in public schools are classified as having speech or language disabilities. This does not include other students with speech or language disabilities served under other disability categories. Totally, about 5% of school-age individuals have speech disorders, and between 2 and 8% have specific language impairments.|
|Where are students educated?||Most students with speech disorders are served in general education classrooms and receive speech therapy provided by speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Many students with communication disorders are also in general education classrooms; but communication disorders are common among many students with disabilities, and these students may be served in various settings, including the general education classroom or a special classroom.|
|What are the outcomes?||Many language and speech disorders improve either without therapy (especially with young children) or with therapy. Some individuals with these disorders have them throughout life.|
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