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A Childhood Language and Communication Disorder Guide for Parents and Teachers
Communication is one of the main channels by which people learn and gain knowledge. Parents and teachers of children with language and communication disorders are faced with tough challenges. Some of the more common problems include difficulties in reading and understanding, failure to comply with rules, lacking attention, and performing badly in exams.
When a teacher suspects that a child is suffering from childhood language and communication disorder, he or she has a responsibility to inform the parents. On the parent's side, it's naturally for them to wonder about where they can get help. Start by enrolling the child in speech and language therapy conducted by a speech pathologist. Help the child by expanding his/her verbal proficiency. Speech-language pathologists or speech therapists diagnose, treat, and help prevent such disorders. Audiologists can also help the child with hearing, neural, and sensory problems.
Children with speech disorders can develop fluency disorders such as stuttering, a condition when the speech is interrupted by stoppages. In this case, the therapist will use books, pictures, colors, and events to stimulate language. Articulation disorders can be defined as the non-ability to produce sounds or say words that people can understand. In an articulation therapy, the therapist will show the child how to make a certain sound by demonstrating with tongue movement.
Voice disorders are associated with pitch problems where the sufferer is not producing the required quality of voice at the right moment. A therapist will work with a child in helping the child to indicate how the vocals have to be adjusted, depending on the situation. Oral feeding disorders usually affect the child's difficulties with eating and swallowing. To help, the therapists will use facial movements, tongue, and cheek movements to strengthen the muscles.
Language disorders can be receptive disorder or expressive disorder. In receptive disorder, the child will have difficulty in understanding. A therapist will help the child build the importance of letters, sounds, and words. In expressive disorder, the child can have problems to frame a sentence or possess a low vocabulary level. The therapist, parents, and teachers can help work together to incorporate spoken language as an everyday activity.
As a parent/teacher you can also help your child by:
- Providing the child with more learning opportunities
- Encouraging the child at every step and not criticizing the child for the slow response or failure to answer your question
- Trying and use simple vocabulary that the child can keep up with
- Work with a speech therapist
Here's a list of links about childhood language and communication disorders.
- Communication Disorders: Definition of different types of communication disorders.
- Receptive Language Disorder: Provides vital information on how the disorder can affect children.
- Language Disorders and ADHD: Looks at some of the problems of language disorders with strategies to cope.
Here's a list of solution resources about how to treat your child with language and communication disorders.
- Communication Difficulties: Some advice for parents to help their child with a communication disability.
- Autism and Communication Disorder Center: Training and workshops for children with autism and communication disorders at the University of Michigan.
- Vanderbilt Kennedy Center: Center to help parents and teachers with outreach centers, disability programs, and summer camps.
- Teacher's Guide: Provides strategies to teach students with communication and language disorders.
- Center for Speech and Language Disorders: Offers treatment to children with communication and language disorders.
- Children's Speech Care Center: An educational site for parents and teachers who are seeking information about speech therapy.
- Kaufman Children's Center: A center that provides specialized speech and language therapy.
- ACU Center for Speech and Language Disorders: Treating kids with disorders of articulation, fluency, voice, language, and swallowing.
- Center for Speech and Language: Services offered for both children and parents.
- Speech and Language Assessment: Comprehensive list of clinics offering speech and language assessment.
Here's a list of organizations and websites that provide support for parents and teachers of children with child with language and communication disorders.
- Communication Disorder Clinic: Non-profit organization helping children suffering from communication disorders.
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Professional institution offering services by certified speech-language pathologists, speech, and hearing scientists.
- National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: A government center that helps to improve the lives of children with communication disorders.
- Medicine Plus: A great resource center on communications disorders for parents and teachers.
- CSLD: Official site of the Center for Speech and Language Disorders, located in Chicago.
- Raising Deaf Kids: Great resources for parents of children with hearing disorders.
- RiteCare: An organization dedicated to helping children with communication disorders.
Various organizations exist to support children with language and communication disorders in the United States. These organizations provide a number of services like diagnosing and treating the disorder, working as a group so that your child will have a better life.
Written by Jacob C. Herman