Speech and Language Impairment
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What is Speech & Language Impairment?
Speech and language impairment is a disorder that has an affect the child's ability to talk, comprehend, read, and write and it obstructs their educational performance.
Speech and language impairments can happen seperately but sometimes, people may show both types of impairments which can make it hard to distinguish.

Speech Impairments
Affects language that is spoken.
  • Articulation
    • the child produces sounds incorrectly
    • lisp, difficulty articulating certain sounds such as "l" or "r"
    • Apraxia of Speech
      • neurological disorder that is in the coordination of the brain and certain parts of the body
      • difficulty with sounds, syllables, and words
    • orofacial myofunctional disorder
      • tongue thrusts forward during speech inappropriately
      • can be outgrown
      • sounds like a lisp
  • Fluency
    • a childs flow of speech is disrupted by sounds, syllables, and words that are repeated, prolonged, or avoided
    • there may be silent blocks or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns
    • Stuttering
      • unwanted repetitions of sounds or words
  • Voice
    • the child's voice has an abnormal quality to its pitch, resonance or loudness
    • Dysarthria
      • neurological injury
      • difficulties in respiratory problems, vocal fold function, and/or velopharyngeal closure

Language Impairments

Affects the understanding of language.The child has problems expressing needs, ideas, or information, and/or in understanding what others say.

  • Language-Based Learning Disabilities
    • difficulties with reading, spelling, and/or writing
    • most children with this disability have average intelligence which rules out intellectual impairments as the causing factor
  • Selective Mutism
    • a child doesnt speak in at least one social setting but is able to speak in other situations
  • Aphasia
    • usually comes from injury or lesion or the brain
    • results in reception, perception, and recall of language
    • language formation and expressive capacities may be affected


Helpful Books on Speech & Language Impairments

  • Agin, M. C., Geng, L. F., & Nicholl, M. (2004). The late talker: What to do if your child isn't talking yet (1st ed.). St. Martin's Griffin.
    • This book gives a mother's perspective as well as a doctors about children who are not yet talking. It gives advice on finding the right therapist and the right therapy, dealing with schools, teachers, and language specialists, as well as speech exercises to do with your child at home.
  • Barrett, J., Fleming, P., & Ripley, K. (2001). Inclusion for children with speech and language impairments: accessing the curriculum and promoting personal and social development (1st ed.). David Fulton Publishers.
    • This book will help parents to learn how to work with their child's speech and language impairments in a school setting. It guides the parent about what access their child has and what can be done to help with the child's growth, both socially and personally.
  • Bishop, D. V. M. & Leonard, L. (Eds.). (2001). Speech and language impairments in children: Causes, characteristics, intervention, and outcome (1st ed.). Psychology Press.
    • This book gives a parent a good idea about what to look for when they think their child has a speech and/or language impairment. It also gives the parent reasons why their child may have developed the impairment(s), as well as what they can to do help their child be successful.
  • Lancaster, G. (2008). Developing speech and language skills: Phoneme factory. David Fulton Publishers.
    • This book helps parents as well as teachers and therapists about what the criteria is for referral to speech and language therapy, the different phonological disorders, and appropriate intervention that can be used at home as well as in the classroom.
  • McMinn, J. (2006). Supporting children with speech and language impairment and associated difficulities (2nd ed.). Continuum.
    • This is an easy to read book that can help parents understand how to cope with their child's speech and language impairment. It also gives tried and tested techniques, ideas, and strategies for these children both at home and in school.
  • Zeedyk, M. S. (2008). Promoting social interaction for individuals with communicative impairments: Making contact. Jessica Kingsley Pub.
    • This book is available in both print and on the Kindle. It gives ideas and details on how to help people with their social interaction skills who have a communication impairment. It gives approaches for promoting social interaction, including intensive interaction, co-creative communication, sensory integration and music therapy, for a variety of impairments, including autism, profound learning disabilities, deaf, blindness, severe early neglect and dementia.

Helpful Links

Education & Services for Children with Speech & Language Impairments
ABCs for Life Success
Academic & Behavior Consultants
This service is based out of Silver Spring, Maryland. They provide services as well as resources to familes and educators about all special needs including children with speech and language impairments. Some services they provide are research, legislation, testing and evaluations, advocacy, transition services, educational consulting, and also hold workshops.
Maryland State Department of Education
Preschool Special Education Services
This program is for children with special needs, ages three to five, who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It makes sure that all children receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restictive environment.
SPEECH PATHways is located in Carroll County, Maryland and offers a wide variety of comprehensive treatments and therapy for children with special needs, including speech and language impairments. It offers 37 different kinds of programs and services that are both typical as well as unique such as aqua talk which is aquatic/pool therapy and art speaks which is art and social language group.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The vision for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is "making effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all." Their mission statement is "empowering and supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech language, and hearing scientists by advoating on behalf of persons with communication and related disorders, advancing communication science, and promoting effective human communication."
Kennedy Krieger Institute
Located in Baltimore, Kennedy Krieger offers patient care for children with speech and language impairments. Kennedy Krieger offers a wide variety of support and services to help children and their families be as successful as they can possibly be with trained and certified personnel.

Local Support Groups & Educational Conferences for Speech & Language Impairments
SPEECH PATHways Parent Support Group & Training
This support group is sponsered by SPEECH PATHways located out of Carroll County, Maryland. It is for parents and caretakers of children with speech and language impairments that offers training and support through a nonprofit organization. Every meeting includes meet and greet, a guest lecture on different topics and question and answer time. This support group is open to everyone but they do ask that you RSVP to make sure you have a seat. It meets in April, August, and October at the Non-Profit Center in Westminster.
2011 ASHA Convention
This is an annual convention which will be held November 17-19 in San Diego, California. It is "the premier annual professional education event for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Bringing together more than 12,000 attendees, the Convention provides unparalleled opportunities to hear the latest evidence-based research and gain new skills and resources."
The ARC Baltimore
The ARC of Baltimore provides support to both adults with special needs as well as children with special needs and their families. It focuses on any kind of special needs including speech and language impairments. If you go to the website listed below, you can view a video of a Summertime Networking Picnic for families and children with special needs.
Haven Universe
The Haven Universe allows children and their families of all disabilities get together once a month, on a Saturday, called Saturday Night Alive from 5-7pm. This program allows for these children and their families meet new friends who share some of the same disabilities and share experiences and hard ships. This included children who have speech and language impairments.
Parent University
Parent University offers all sorts of different workshops for parents who have children with disabilities including speech and language impairments. The workshops offer a wide range of support and ideas for parents and also support and allows parents to meet new friends who are in the same boat they are.http://www.parentuniv.org/workshops.html

Recreational & Community-Based Resources for Children with Speech & Language Impairments
Camp Chatterbox
Camp Chatterbox is a therapy camp for nonspeaking or severely speech-impaired children, ages 5-15, who functionally use synthesized augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. It is sponsored by the Children's Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, NJ. Camp Chatterbox gives children an opportunity to interact with other children using AAC systems while learning to use their devices in functional activities.

The mission of Camp Chatterbox is (1) to help children, who have cognitive-language abilities, to become more interactive with their AAC devices and to have fun in the process; (2) to help parents gain the necessary skills to facilitate functional device use at home and in the community and (3) to provide a fun venue for the entire family to share in this therapeutic process.
ARC of Baltimore Bay Buddies
Bay Buddies is an exciting summer camp and educational enrichment program for children with disabilities that typically prevent them from attending traditional camps. The Arc Bbay_buddies.pngaltimore partners with Living Classrooms Foundation, Baltimore City and Baltimore County Public Schools to identify specific goals that the child has been working on during the school year. Activities are tailored to the specific needs of each child. Currently 80 children participate in Bay Buddies each summer from Battle Monument, Maiden Choice, W.S. Baer, and George WF McMechan Schools.
Greenwell Foundation Camp
The Greenwell Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing accessible and inclusive programs, services and facilities for all community members, with and without disabilities, in Southern Maryland. The Foundation operates in Greenwell State Park, a 600-acre property located along the lower Patuxent River in Hollywood, Maryland.
Greenwell offers therapeutic and recreational riding, summer camps, nature programs, kayaking, accessible site rentals and is regularly developing new programs to meet community needs. Annually, more than 40,000 people visit the park, hundreds of people participate in our programs, and more than 1,000 people use our accessible facilities for family events and celebrations.
Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program
Children with any kind of disability, including speech and language impairments can benefit from therapeutic riding programs.
Therapeutic Recreation Services
Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks' Office of Therapeutic Recreation Services provides a wide variety of recreation opportunities and services for individuals with disabilities countywide. Offering programs designed specifically for individuals with disabilities, as well as inclusion into general recreation programs, the office provides reasonable accommodations for full participation in all of our department programs. Distributed twice a year (Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer), the Leisure Resources newsletter lists program opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
For additional camps and recreation you can go to Baltimore Arc's list.
Baltimore Arc Camps & Recreation

Funding & Legal Advocacy for Children with Speech & Language Impairments
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 130,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. Empowering and supporting speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists by: advocating on behalf of persons with communication and related disorders; advancing communication science, and promoting effective human communication
Center for Disability and Development
We support the self-determination, community integration, and quality of life of people with disabilities and their families. As a federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, we are part of a national network of similar centers across the country.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North American (CASANA)
The Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit publicly funded charity whose mission is to strengthen the support systems in the lives of children with apraxia so that each child is afforded their best opportunity to develop speech. The Goals of the organization include providing multimedia information on CAS to families, professionals, policy-makers and other members of the public; creating and supporting networking and partnership opportunities for parents and professionals to benefit children with CAS; facilitating better public policy and services for children affected by the disorder; providing training and educational opportunities for families and professionals; and encourage/fund research in childhood apraxia of speech and to co-sponsor a biennial scientific research symposium.
Project IDEAL
This Website is part of a teacher preparation program intended to better prepare teachers to work with students with disabilities. Project IDEAL (Informing and Designing Education For All Learners) was made possible by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD). We invite you to explore our site and give us feedback.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.
Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.
Additional Federal Laws & Acts Being Tracked