• Signs and Effects of Communication Disorders
     

    A COMMUNICATIVE DISORDER is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems.  A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech.  A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound.  It may be developmental or acquired.  Individuals may demonstrate one or any combination of communication disorders.  A communication disorder may result in a primary disability or it may be secondary to other disabilities.

    SIGNS AND EFFECTS OF COMMUNICATION DISORDERS

    TYPE OF DISORDER

    SIGNS

    SOCIAL LEARNING EFFECTS

    LANGUAGE*

    Student may show impaired comprehension and poor verbal expression.

    Student may be excluded from play and group activities.  Student may withdraw from group situations.

    Student may fail to understand instruction.  This may have the same result as missing school altogether.  “Learning problems” may result.

    ARTICULATION/SOUND SEQUENCING*

    Abnormal production of speech sounds; “speech impairment”; speech sounds not typical for student’s chronological age.

    Student may be ridiculed or given “cartoon character” nickname; may be ignored or excluded from group activities.

    Student may have decoding or comprehension problems with respect to specific words.

    FLUENCY*

    Abnormal flow of verbal expression, characterized by impaired rate or rhythm and perhaps “struggle behavior”.

    Student may be ridiculed by others.  Student may begin to avoid speaking in group settings.

    Student may do poorly on reports, oral assignments, and reading.  Student may withdraw from group learning activities.

    VOICE*

    Abnormal voice quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and duration may be evidenced.  Child’s voice does not sound “right”.

    Student may be ridiculed, ignored, or excluded from play or group activities.

    Student’s self-confidence may suffer.  This may lead to withdrawal from participation in class and grades may fall.

    HEARING*

    Student may give evidence of not hearing speech

    Student may appear isolated.  Student may not participate in group activities as a matter of course.

    Student may fail to follow directions or fail to get information from instruction.

    AUDITORY PROCESSING

    Student is easily distracted.  Student may have difficulty following directions and experience reading, spelling, writing, and phonemic awareness difficulties.

    Student’s frustration may lead to classroom and acting out behaviors.

    Student gives slow, delayed, or inappropriate responses.

     

    *School Meeting Kit (ASHA, 1989)