Learning to communicate is a very important part of growing up. Whether it's stating an opinion, answering a question in class, or holding a conversation with a friend, effective communication can help young people succeed in school and later in life. Children with communication disorders can develop at any age and many young people have speech or language disorders which can significantly affect their performance in school. Unrelated speech, language or hearing disorders can interfere with learning in the classroom, limit educational achievement, harm promising careers, and inhibit personal relationships.
Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists are dedicated professionals who provide quality services to all speech, language and hearing impaired students. Speech-language pathologists are professionals concerned with human communications, its normal development and disorders. They help prevent, identify, evaluate, treat and rehabilitate communication disorders which include articulation, stuttering, voice and language disorders.
Signs Of Communication Disorders
- Is your child's speech difficult to understand; do others outside the family have difficulty understanding what your child says?
- Does your child pay attention to a story and answer simple questions about it?
- Can your child communicate easily with other children and adults? Does your child hear and understand most of what is said at home and in school?
- Is your child's voice sound clear like other children's?
Common Types of Speech & Language Disorders
- Articulation - difficulties with the way sounds are formed and strung together, characterized by substituting one sound for another, omitting or distorting a sound.
- Stuttering - interruptions in the flow or rhythm of speech; characterized by hesitations, repetitions or prolongations of a sound, syllable, word or phrase.
- Language Disorder - an impairment of the uniquely human ability to understand and/or use words. Affected children may exhibit difficulty expressing thoughts or asking specific questions, poor or limited vocabulary, incorrect use of grammar, or difficulty with sequencing or organizing information.
- Delayed Language - significant slowness in the onset and development of language skills necessary for expressing ideas, and for understanding the thoughts and ideas one hears or reads.
Procedures to follow when requesting speech services
If you think your child may have a speech, language or hearing problem, you can request services by choosing one of the following:
- For all students attending school, contact the speech therapist at your child's school to request a speech screening.
- For preschool children not attending school, call the Preschool Assessment Team to request a speech screening.
- For nonpublic school students, contact your child's school's School Building Level Committee (SBLC) to request a speech screening.
For more information contact:
Hope James MS, CCC-SLP
Program Specialist - Speech Therapy
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