Students with various learning disabilities should get best support in order to achieve their educational goals. Teachers and parents should use different strategies in order to empower every disabled learner. One of the common learning disabilities is speech impairment.
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This kind of disability affects the learner’s ability to read, communicate, interact, talk, and associate with others. Speech impairment is usually subdivided into three types. These disorders include “articulation, voice, and fluency” (Sileo & Prater, 2011, p. 38).
Articulation disorders are usually associated with omissions, distortions, and substitutions. Such aspects make it impossible for many disabled learners to acquire their educational goals.
Supporting the Learning Needs of a Student with Speech Impairment
According to Godwin-Jones (2009, p. 5), “collaboration of a powerful team is critical when educating different children with learning disabilities”. The “multi-disciplinary team should include teachers, pathologists, parents, and special trainers” (Godwin-Jones, 2009, p. 7).
This discussion encourages parents and guardians to be part of such teams. This approach will ensure every targeted learner acquires the best goals. The power of assistive technologies can never be underestimated. A wide range of assistive technologies can make it easier for many learners to achieve their potentials.
Such assistive technologies should be used depending on the educational needs of every learner. Different software packages will make it easier for learners with speech impairments to improve their language skills. A good example of these computer software programs is called First Words.
This program presents the required graphic representations. The software also synthesizes speech in order to teach different nouns. The software amplifies the sounds of different words. The software package makes it easier for every learner to achieve his or her educational goals.
The student will be able to pronounce various words correctly. Teachers should equip their learners with the best hearing devices. The approach will “ensure the targeted student hears every sound much better” (Gorman, 2004, p. 36).
The application will “ensure the targeted learner does not omit, distort, or substitute various words” (Godwin-Jones, 2009, p. 8).
The above software can also be used to predict new words. Teachers can use effective software packages to ensure the targeted learners acquire new vocabularies. Some accessibility features will support the learning objectives of many disabled students.
The use of non-electronic materials can also support the needs of learners with various speech impairments (Sileo & Prater, 2011). This technology is known as Augmentative or Alternative Communication (ACC). This assistive technology uses appropriate symbols and techniques to support the needs of different learners.
Teachers can “use both electronic and manual boards to improve the communication skills of students with impaired motor skills” (Godwin-Jones, 2009, p. 8). These technologies will support the needs of many learners. The disabled learners will eventually find it easier to express their ideas.
Teachers can use spelling boards because they present different phrases and words. Speech impaired learners can use such boards to communicate with their parents. These technologies will ensure every learning process is successful.
Assistive technologies make it easier for educators to teach different learners with disabilities. Parents should also use such assistive technologies to empower their children. It is notable that such assistive technologies can support the needs of many students (Sileo & Prater, 2011).
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Different “accessibility features of computers will support every learner with speech impairment” (Godwin-Jones, 2009, p. 9).
Godwin-Jones, R. (2009). Emerging Technologies Speech Tools and Technologies. Language Learning & Technology, 13(3), 4-11.
Gorman, J. (2004). Working With Challenging Parents of Students with Special Needs. New York, NY: Corwin.
Sileo, N., & Prater, M. (2011). Working with Families of Children with Special Needs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.