Supportive Classroom Environments for Students with Communication Disorders

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  • 0:04 Challenges With Communication
  • 0:51 Communication Disorders
  • 1:45 Classroom Strategies
  • 3:56 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Abigail Cook
Students with communication disorders may be at a significant disadvantage in a regular classroom environment because of the specific challenges they face. Teachers can set their students up for success by adapting the classroom environment.

Challenges With Communication

Ruby is a fourth grade student who has been diagnosed with a communication disorder. She specifically struggles with reading, writing, and understanding spoken language. She receives speech and languages services from a speech therapist at school, but she spends most of her day in the regular classroom with her peers. Ruby has the same potential for learning as any other fourth grader, but her challenges with communication make it more difficult for her to keep up with the class. She turns in incomplete assignments, projects, and tests. She does not get started on a task with the rest of the group. She seems to forget what she's supposed to be doing in the middle of a task. She stops listening to the teacher in a noisy environment. Ruby's situation is similar to that of other students with communication disorders.

Communication Disorders

A child's ability to communicate with teachers and peers is critical for their educational success. Communication skills include speaking, writing, reading, listening, and gesturing. Students with communication disorders have a difficult time acquiring these skills and applying them in classroom settings. Let's look at some of the specific ways students with communication disorders might struggle in a classroom.

  • Difficulty hearing and following teacher instructions
  • Inability to solve problems
  • Trouble with reading and comprehension
  • Expressing thoughts through speaking or writing
  • Trouble understanding social cues

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