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Coping with Speech Development Delays and Disorders in
Public School Settings
Delays and Disorders In
School Age Children: What Parents Need to Know
One of the most important concerns
a parent must have as a child develops is his or her speech patterns. As
parents we tend to find our children's omission of r's or mispronounced b's
adorable when in fact these speech problems can be early signs of speech
impediments that have a profound effect on learning.
As your child enters the public
education system, the expectations of growth, learning and development are
well defined. A child that has difficulty in pronunciation is more than
likely going to have difficulty repeating and identifying sounds in their new
educational settings. Whether your child's delays in speech development
are normal and age appropriate, or indicative of true speech development
problems can only be diagnosed by your pediatrician or a speech therapist.
Under no circumstances should a child's delay in speech development be
ignored. Most public schools systems have provisions in place to provide
professional speech therapy to their students. If you suspect your child
has a speech impediment talk to your child's teacher about how they perceive
your child's difficulties, and don't hesitate to ask for help.
The links on this page are designed
to help you educate yourself on speech development disorders, and treatment
Types of LD
Developmental Speech and Language Disorders
Speech and language problems are often the
earliest indicators of a learning disability. People with developmental speech
and language disorders have difficulty producing speech sounds, using spoken
language to communicate, or understanding what other people say. Depending on
the problem, the specific diagnosis may be:
Developmental articulation disorder
Developmental expressive language
Developmental receptive language disorder
Developmental Articulation Disorder
Children with this disorder may have trouble controlling their rate of speech.
Or they may lag behind playmates in learning to make speech sounds.
Developmental articulation disorders are common. They appear in at least 10
percent of children younger than age 8. Fortunately, articulation disorders
are often outgrown or successfully treated with speech therapy.
Developmental Expressive Language Disorder
Some children with language impairments have problems expressing them selves
in speech. Their disorder is called, therefore, a developmental expressive
language disorder. This disorder can take many forms. For example, a
4-year-old who speaks only in two-word phrases and a 6-year-old who can't
answer simple questions have an expressive language disorder.
Developmental Receptive Language Disorder
Some people have trouble understanding certain aspects of speech. There's a
toddler who doesn't respond to his name, a preschooler who hands you a bell
when you asked for a ball, or a worker who consistently can't follow simple
directions. Their hearing is fine, but they can't make sense of certain
sounds, words, or sentences they hear. They may even seem inattentive. These
people have a receptive language disorder. Because using and understanding
speech are strongly related, many people with receptive language disorders
also have an expressive language disability. [Of course, in preschoolers, some
misuse of sounds, words, or grammar is a normal part of learning to speak.
It's only when these problems persist that there is any cause for concern.]