What is Speech and Language Impairment?
Students who have a speech and language impairment are identified as those who need significant educational adjustments as they have a severe primary spoken communication disorder. Speech and language impairments include difficulties in communication and other related areas like oral motor functions – eating, drinking, swallowing, sucking. These disorders and delays involves inability to use or understand language, problems with simple sound substitutions, or inability to use the oral-motor mechanism for feeding and functional speech. Read on to know more about speech and language impairment.
Speech and Language Impairment – An Overview
Students who suffer from a speech-language impairment, like all students, vary in their needs and abilities. Although, they all will face significant difficulties in any one of these following areas:
Language use: Inability to understand (interpret) language related to the context and produce language appropriate to the context. The use of language is known as ‘pragmatics’. Also, it is usually included as a part of the language processing and production.
Speech processing: Failure to recognize important aspects of the sound when someone is talking.
Students who have a mild to moderate problems are generally considered to be a student who has special needs in communication. They can have access to their school based support involving speech language therapy sessions.
Incidence of Speech and Language Impairment
Nearly 1.4 million students who participated in the special education programs conducted in the public schools were identified as having either a language or speech impairment in 2002-2003. This was published in the 26th Annual Report to Congress, U.S. Department of Education, 2006. Also, this report does not include those children who suffer from various other conditions like deafness as well as speech-language disorders.
Language impairments can be even related to other problems like cerebral palsy, autism, learning disability and intellectual disability. It is predicted that communication disorders like hearing, language and speech disorders affect 1 in 10 people in the U.S.