How Do Speech Disorders Affect Learning?

March 31, 2021

A child with speech & language disorder is put at a disadvantage when it comes to learning. Speech & language disorder does not only manifest through inability to enunciate words properly or stuttering. It can appear in subtle ways but its effects on the development of the child are still drastic. The holistic approach in education means that children are active participants in learning, with teachers serving as guides. But when a child is unable to properly process information or when they have difficulty expressing what they are feeling and thinking, it could lead to problems.

What is Speech-Language Disorder?

Speech & language disorder refers to the impairment of speech or the production of sound, voice, fluency, or language. This type of disorder has significant effects on a child’s educational performance as well as their social and emotional development. A diagnosis of speech and language disorder will mean a child with a stutter or experience difficulty when it comes to articulating words and phrases. Children may also have a voice disorder or lisp. Children with hearing loss also experience difficulties with speech.

How Speech-Language Disorder Affects Learning?

When a child is diagnosed with a speech-language disorder, particularly receptive language disorder, they will have problems in understanding and processing what is being said to them. When information is presented in such a manner with the expectation that the child has to remember the information, it can be very difficult for the child to understand what was said, let alone recalling the information by memory.

Their inability to understand and recall verbal instructions or information correctly can severely impact their ability to complete tasks as expected. A child with this disorder will most likely have difficulty following the instructions of the teachers, especially when those instructions are given verbally or contain a lot of words or steps.

In addition, a child already experiencing difficulty with speech or language skills are also prone to having difficulty in learning how to read and spell. Research has stated that in order to develop reading skills well, it is vital that verbal skills are already well-developed. Children faced with difficulties when it comes to verbal production need to learn how to associate sounds with letters. They then have to segment each of those apart to learn how to read and spell. Children who are faced with speech-language disorder will find this skill especially difficult.

How to Help Children with Speech-Language Disorder?

The first step in helping children with speech-language disorders is proper diagnosis. When the problem is determined, then appropriate intervention by a qualified speech-language therapist can be created. They can also recommend virtual speech therapy activities for remote patients.

For children to remember what was said to them, the information should be broken down into smaller chunks and then repeated as needed until the child can fully understand the information. Giving them a written form of the information can also be helpful.

Children with speech-language disorder can be perceived to be less intelligent as they are unable to process information as well as their peers. But if the information is presented differently or repeated, the child has a better chance of performing as well as other students. Also, when the child is seen as ignoring what was said or perceived to be defiant because they are not following verbal instructions will receive undue punishment which can demoralize their spirit. This will lead to them being discouraged with learning and schoolwork.

To help them with reading and spelling, it is important for instructions to be repeated and to have enough time for practice. This can be done both at home and in school by teachers, parents, and caregivers. Therapists can also help by providing helpful exercises and activities.

Eliza Brooks

Eliza Brooks loves to write about personality development, mental and physical disabilities, and ways to overcome them effectively. She is currently working with Verboso, which offers online speech therapy for children to improve their speaking skills.

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