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Learning Disability

Learning Disability

Though children develop at different rates, understanding the typical stages of speech and language development can help identify problems early and seek out help for the child with delayed communication. When a child is behind in the language and speech developmental milestones for its age in acquiring language and/ or speech skills, then that child is considered to have delayed communication (“Communication / Speech / Language Disorders,” n.d.). It could be a delay in the production of speech sounds, articulation, or voice quality.

Children develop speech and language skills at different rates. However, there are typical stages of speech and language development in children from birth through 5 years. Every stage is assessed in four categories: listening and attention, understanding, speech and talk, and social skills (“Stages of Speech and Language Development,” n.d.)

By three months, children will turn toward familiar sounds, recognize the voice of a parent, loud noises startle them, be calmed by familiar voices, frequently cry when uncomfortable, make vocal sounds such as gurgling and cooing, gaze at faces and make fairly long eye contact.

Between 3-6 months, children will watch the face of someone when talking, be excited at approaching familiar voices, make noises to draw attention, babble when talked to, babble and coo to self, laugh during play, sense different emotions in voices and respond differently like laughing, smiling or quietness, and cry in various ways when expressing different needs.

By 12 months, children will accurately locate the source of the voice, focus on various sounds such as TV and clock, understand words frequently used like ‘no,’ recognize their name, understand gestured instructions, make sounds to communicate (babbling), make gestures like pointing and waving, enjoy songs and rhymes, converse in turns by using babble and try copying adult speech.

Between 12 – 15 months, children will enjoy toys and objects that make sounds, attend to singing and music, understand more words than they can articulate, understand contextualized single words such as mama, daddy, and cup, understand simple instructions like ‘stop,’ reach or point to something of interest and say about ten single words (may be unclear).

Between 15 – 18 months, children will listen and respond to simple instructions or information like ‘clean your hands’ and ‘go to mummy’, understand some two-word phrases and a wider range of single words, name familiar objects when asked, recognize and point pictures or objects if asked, copy adult gestures and words, correctly use about 20 single words, constantly babble or use single words while playing, use intonations and change volume in speech and pretend to play alone but be close to a familiar adult.

Children 18 – 24 months typically focus on activities of their own choice but find difficulty being directed by adults, develop a rapid understanding of single words (200 – 500 words), understand a wide range of simple instructions, use about 50 words, ask questions frequently, put together two to three words, pretend playing with such activities as doll feeding, follow adult body language like gestures and pointing and gets frustrated when they are not able to make themselves understood.

At 2 – 3 years children listen when addressed directly, begin listening with interest to talks (but are distracted easily), develop simple concepts of understanding such as big and small, understand simple ‘what,’ where, and ‘who’ questions, understand simple picture stories, use descriptive language, use about 300 words, links together four or five words, have speech sounds problems, use plurals and pronouns (me, she, him), hold conversations (but jump from topic to topic) and express emotions verbally and have interest in others’ play and join in.

Between 3 and 4 years, they enjoy listening to stories, still find difficulty in attending to more than one thing, understand ‘why’ questions, develop an awareness of time relating to past, present, and future, understand two-part instructions and questions for instance ‘where is your shoe?’ or ‘sit on the floor’, use past and future tense, recall and enjoy to tell long stories and singing, put together four to six-word sentences, have problems with irregular words such as ‘runned’ and ‘swimmed’, and understand taking turns in conversations.

At 4 – 5 years, they have a greater attention span. For instance, they can understand instructions without looking, understand adjectives such as hard and soft, laugh at jokes, follow simple non-picture stories, have well-formed sentences, ask the meanings of spoken unfamiliar words, and plan make-believe plays.

Though many children experience temporary delays in communication, the majority catch up eventually. However, some continue to have challenges in communication development. Communication disorders include speech and language impairments. Speech disorders are impairments in the articulation of speech sounds, fluency, or voice quality (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1993). Articulation disorders are characterized by speech sounds that have distortions, substitutions, additions, or omissions. The atypical speech sounds may, at times, interfere with intelligibility. Fluency disorders are speech flow interruptions. They are characterized by atypical rhythm, rate, and repetitions in syllables, sounds, phrases, and words (stuttering). Voice disorders are characterized by abnormal production or absence of vocal quality, resonance, duration, pitch, or loudness, which is not appropriate for sex or age.

Language disorders are impairments in comprehension or use of written, spoken, and other symbol systems. A language disorder may involve language form, language content and/ or language function in communication. Disorders involving a form of language affect phonology, morphology, and syntax. Semantics is the main challenge in language content problems. Pragmatics, the system that combines the form and content of language in socially appropriate and functional communication, is the challenge in language function disorders. Language disorders affect language development because the individual has trouble sharing feelings, thoughts, or ideas (expressive language) and/ or understanding others (receptive language). Education and learning are affected by impaired reading, spelling, and writing.

A speech pathologist works to help children communicate effectively by assisting them in improving their verbal and non-verbal language skills (“What is a Speech-Language Pathologist? | Parent Resources”, n.d.). In receptive language disorders, they help children to process and understand the information given to them. For example, ‘put the cup on the table’ involves following directions. The pathologist helps the child to know what a cup and table is and understand that he/she is required to perform an action. In expressive language disorders, the pathologist helps children learn how to create words and combine words into statements to share information and communicate their needs and wants. For example, helping a child go from simply saying “food” to “I want food.”   The pathologist may have the child play with a toy while talking about and practicing targeted sounds, words and names to improve speech. Such a technique is fun and helps the child improve fluency and articulation.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (1993). Definitions of communication disorders and variations [Relevant Paper]. Available from

Communication / Speech / Language Disorders. Retrieved 21 May 2021, from

Stages of Speech and Language Development. Retrieved 21 May 2021, from

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist? | Parent Resources. Retrieved 21 May 2021, from


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Learning Disability

written in APA format using proper spelling/grammar, research the topic of learning disabilities of American children and address the following:

Learning Disability

Learning Disability

  • When is a child’s communication considered delayed? Please include stages of development regarding communication with examples.
  • What are speech disorders and how are they characterized?
  • What are language disorders? How does they affect language development and education?
  • How does a speech language pathologist help children with communication disorders? Explain with specific techniques and examples.

Be sure to include APA citations for any resources you used as references.

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