Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pediatric Communication Disorders 101

I hope you all had a wonderful end of 2013 and are excited for all things to come in 2014! On December 14th, I proudly graduated with my Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) degree in Curriculum and Instruction!! Yeah for me! :)

Today, I am enjoying my "coldcation" in Atlanta, Georgia as many of the school districts are closed due to single digit temperatures and wind chill! This is the coldest that I recall it being since I moved here almost 10 years ago!! Hence, I have been indoors today. 

I am pleased to announce an informative series, Pediatric Communication Disorders 101 that I will feature on this blog during the month of January. One of the missions of Building Successful Lives Speech and Language Services is to promote knowledge about pediatric communication disorders. These are speech and language disorders that occur in childhood. Did you know that the American Speech Language Hearing Association asserts that communication disorders are one of the most common disabilities in the United States? According to the American With Disability Act, a person with a disability has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. See the full definition here: http://www.ada.gov/cguide.htm

Communication is definitely a significant life activity that influences individuals' abilities to process and understand language as well as express their ideas verbally, in writing, via sign language, and/or through augmentative/alternative communication. Communication disorders are due to neurological impairments in the language centers of the brain. 

Therefore, it is important to know the three main types of disorders that may negatively influence a child's ability to communicate: speech disorders, language disorders, and hearing disorders.  Many children that have these identified disorders also have co-occurring learning disabilities, intellectual impairment, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Some toddlers with communication delays may be considered late talkers who over time learn to communicate without the  need for long term speech-language therapy. For more information on later talkers, I recommend the book, The Late Talker What to Do If Your Child Isn't Talking Yet by Marilyn Agin, M.D., Lisa Geng, and Malcolm Nicholl.  
You can preview the book here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Late-Talker-Child-Talking/dp/0312309244/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389123139&sr=8-1&keywords=the+late+talker  
However, this is not the same as children who are identified with pediatric communication disorders by a speech-language pathologist.

Stay tuned for future posts about: speech disorders, language disorders, hearing disorders, speech/language therapy resources, and language arts resources. Have a great January!


Tamara Anderson, Ed.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

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