Identifying Communication Weaknesses and Strengths
Oftentimes, children with learning impairments display communication weaknesses. Some may have strengths in certain areas but struggle in others. Understanding common communication weaknesses and strengths will help you understand if your child needs help in a certain area. It will also help you determine which supports to put in place.
A student with communication strengths is able to live in the world using language as a tool. These children can often tell you what they want and need, share ideas, use appropriate inflection, understand humor, and recall a story or situation correctly.
They understand the unspoken rules of conversation. This includes knowing when to talk and when to wait (turn-taking). They will make eye contact when speaking to you. And, these children know how to contribute ideas to a topic, even when it’s not one that they’ve chosen. They use appropriate grammar and an ever-growing vocabulary. They know how to answer who, what, where, when questions appropriately. They will be able to speak clearly and concisely to a variety of communication partners and advocate for themselves in the classroom.
A student with communication weaknesses will often show frustration when they have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or understanding the meaning of what is being said to them. These students may have difficulty finding the right words to use, use only short phrases, or speak in sentences with jumbled or unnatural word order. They may struggle to use words that are appropriate to the social context. These are examples of contextual communication weaknesses that your child may experience.
There are also physical or auditory manifestations of communication weaknesses. If the student is exhibiting symptoms of stuttering, they may repeat words or parts of words (st-st-st-st-stop), lengthen words (stooooooop), stretch sounds out (sssssssstop), or pause frequently during speech. Students with voice disorders may sound hoarse, breathy, or excessively nasal when they speak.
How Does All This Impact My Child at School?
Explaining your child’s communication weaknesses and strengths to their teachers is very important. Learn what to say and how to say it with ExceptionALLY. Get free, personalized guidance and strategies for your unique child.
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