Speech & Language Disorder/Difficulties

Selected Indicators for such impairments

  • difficulty remembering number/letter sequences
  • much usage of generic words (e.g. stuff, those, thing) or semantically related words (e.g. “writing thing” instead of “pencil”)
  • reliance on gestures to communicate
  • reading and spelling challenges
  • communication withdrawal or avoidance (e.g. “I don’t know”)
  • poor recall of story information and plots
  • frustration from the inability to communicate
  • difficulty organising thoughts or ideas for clear expression
  • seem to have words “on the tip of their tongue” yet unable to get to it

Selected suggestions for class

  • Apply positive reinforcement
  • If such a child is in a larger group, dissuade (discourage) interruption from others with mechanisms like talking turns/rounds for each student (thereby building space to practice verbal expression); train students to become active (and focused) listeners
  • Allow more time when awaiting responses (room for sorting out thoughts)
  • Wherever possible use short sentences (subject-verb-object); avoid metaphors, idioms, similes etc. [To interpret the article further, this should not mean the total exclusion of conjunctions (and, but, if, because etc.) and their corresponding complex sentences.]
  • Use varied senses (touch, smell, sight, sound or movement) to facilitate learning [e.g. British Council, British Broadcasting Corporation, YouTube resources]
  • Author Deanna Swallow (speech-language pathologist) proposes indirect correction by “…repeating the sentence back to your student, using correct grammar.”
  • [From another source] Provide multiple choice answers where applicable

Overall, there are some overlaps with dyslexia but they are not entirely the same.


Deanna Swallow. (24 Mar 2011). Navigating speech & language difficulties in the classroom. Resources. North Shore Pediatric Therapy (United States).

Other references:

National University Hospital. Department of Rehabilitation, Speech Therapy. [with PDF document on site] Singapore.

Dyslexia posts


Spelling Techniques

Two techniques to help with spelling (especially for those trying to overcome dyslexia).

  • Look, say, cover, write, check
  • Trace, copy and replicate (and then check)

It is available as a game on BBC Skillswise.

There is a video on it at How to Spell – Spelling for Adults.

There is another resource from Frittenden CEP School from the United Kingdom.