It goes without saying that a student’s inability to communicate in the classroom setting saddles the teacher in numerous ways. And the problem left to its own will not only fester, but more than likely mushroom into other areas as well- academics, socialization, and low self-esteem to name but a few.
How might a teacher describe students with a communication disorder?
However, beyond the mere description, it is imperative for teachers not only to label how the child is “being experienced,” but to recognize exactly where the child is failing. In other words, “What exactly is the problem”? The teacher may be observing any of the following challenges:
1) Academic Performance:
- failure to follow directions
- difficulty organizing ideas
- difficulty producing sounds or finding the “right words”
- Responding slowly
2) Social Interaction:
- hesitant to interact with other children
- rejection or exclusion by other children
- problem carrying on a conversation
- difficulty negotiating rules for games
- consistently frustrated
- lots of arguments
- frequently fighting with peers
- the pattern of withdrawing from interactions
Often students suffering from speech and language disabilities become frustrated with school and begin to suffer emotionally. Teachers must attempt to assist these children in developing the requisite skills to become socially integrated and academically successful, not to mention to help to cultivate their self-esteem in the hope for them to lead healthy, productive lives.
The Teacher Can Help
For example, assist the child with conversational and social skills in specific situations such as:
- starting a conversation or learning how to greet people
- asking and answering questions
- asking for clarification or assistance
- teaching skills necessary for social communication, such as how to read facial expressions and body language and expressions
But sometimes despite the best of intentions, whatever the teacher tries just isn’t enough. It could be that the child needs to be assessed. The assessment process is multi-tiered, multidisciplinary and occurs in a continuous cycle—from planning through to final evaluation. Both parents and teachers provide valuable information and insight in the assessment process.
Often the assessment will show that the student’s challenges are beyond the teacher’s capacity to deal with it. It is time for the intervention of a professional who will provide additional, precision-guided intervention to solve the child’s problem and put that student back on the road to academic and social success and increased self-esteem.
However, there are school administrators that are at a loss to provide adequately for the speech therapy needs of all of their students. Whether it’s cost, scheduling or just finding the right therapist for that particular child, school administrators, notwithstanding their concern for their students are increasingly becoming frustrated by the search.
An increasingly popular solution is online speech therapy or teletherapy as it has come to be known. The wonders of technology have given new hope to school administrators and children alike by facilitating top quality, convenient and affordable speech therapy through video conferencing. Whatever the venue of speech therapy delivery, the language and speech problems of children cannot be overlooked. The potential cost is too high!