Learning Disability and Communication Disorder


Communication Disorder

Definition The inability to learn to one’s full potential with difficulties in listening, speaking, reading, written expression, and/or mathematics An “impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts of verbal and non-verbal graphic symbols” (ASHA, 1993)
Causes Many times the causes are unknown. Four suspected causes are: brain damage, heredity, biochemical imbalance, and environmental causes Communication disorders may be organic or functional. Functional causes are not necessarily known but are often attributed to environmental influences.  Organic causes are physical, like the “damage, dysfunction, or malformation of a specific organ” (Heward, 2003).
Identified Characteristics A child with a learning disability is “specific and significant achievement deficits in the presence of adequate overall intelligence” (Heward, 2003). Communication disorders encompass four different speech errors: distortions, substitutions, omissions, and additions
Effective Teaching Strategies There are many ways to address LD. Some of them are remediation, judicious review, primed background knowledge, strategic integration, mediated scaffolding, conspicuous strategies, and big ideas (Heward, 2003). In order for them to better succeed in their education, tools like guided notes, graphic organizers, visual displays, and mnemonics are helpful to those with LD. Children may be given exercises to practice their speech, reading, ect. Students also may be encouraged through natural setting to learn from modeling and verbal encouragement. Often SPT’s use prompting and other reinforcements. Students can also listen to recordings of themselves and/or use a microphone system where they can clearly hear themselves while or after they speak.
Placement Options Children with LD are often educated in regular classrooms with available peer modeling. They can also spend time with resource teachers and in special education classes. Speech-Language Pathologists often treat those with language disorders.

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