Identify examples of communication difficulties that may exist
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Working in schools we are bound to come across communication difficulties and it is important we aim to try and resolve these issues as soon as possible as it could affect the child’s intellectual development and even physical development.
English as a second Language
More children who use English as 2nd language are attending schools that use English as a 1st Language. This could be a problem as some children may struggle with the English Language. Many schools have multilingual staff on board to help non-English speaking parents, as communication is vital. However during school hours children are encouraged to only speak English, not their own 1st language, only if it is absolutely necessary.
Some children may have hearing impairment. Some schools use Makaton and also have the loop system in place to allow better communication. If a young child has a hearing impairment then they will automatically concentrated and lip read as best as they can. If a child is hard of hearing, speak slowly and with clear enunciation so they can read your lips clearly.
There are many different types of speech impairments:
Apraxia of speech -Apraxia involves the inconsistent producing and rearranging of speech sounds. For instance potato may become totapo. There are two types of this speech disorder:
Developmental: It is evident from childhood and is generally present from birth. Acquired: It is evident in adults and is generally a result from a psychical injury or stroke.
Speech Sound Disorder- A speech sound disorder involves difficulty producing certain sounds. With me this primarily involved difficulty producing the “r” and “th” sounds. Speech sound disorders are subdivided into two categories of speech disorders: Phonetic disorders: This is also commonly referred to as articulation disorder. These types of speech impediments involve the individual having difficulty in learning to produce certain sounds physically. Phonemic disorders: These types of speech impediments involve the individual having difficulty learning the sound distinctions of a language. It is possible for a person to struggle with a mixture of both phonetic and phonemic
Cluttering- Cluttering is a speech disorder which affects the person’s fluency. This can happen if the person has a tendency to speak really fast. This can also result when an individual continues to repeat themselves in order to try to make them understood. With me cluttering was coupled with my speech sound disorder. When I was a child I did speak really fast and had a tendency to repeat myself in order to be understood.
Lisps- Lisps are a speech impediment most common among children who are struggling to produce certain speech sounds. There are four aspects to a lisp: Inderdental lisp: This takes place when the tongue pops in and out during speech. Lateral lisp: This is a reference to the wet sound which is produced due to air breaking away from the sides of the tongue. Dentalised lisps: This takes place when a person put their tongues and pushes air outward. This results in the production of muffled sounds. Palatal lisp: This takes place when the tongue’s mid section brushes against the soft palate.
Muteness- Muteness is a speech disorder which involves a complete inability to speak. This could be either developmental or acquired. Another type of muteness is referred to as selective muteness. Selective muteness involves an individual (generally a child) who has the ability to speak fluently but is unable to in certain settings. This is widely viewed as an anxiety
Stuttering – Stuttering (also known as stammering) may be the most well-known speech disorder. Stuttering is when a person repeats the first half of the word. It also may involve the prolonging of a syllable or involuntary pauses. Stuttering is a speech impediment which can both be developmental or acquired. It can also be linked to low self-esteem, anxiety, or a traumatic experience from childhood. Speech disorders can be overcome with the correct help, support and hard work. All teachers and staff need to be patient and not push the child/adult into talking and not say something like,. “Come on, spit it out!” that will just make the problem worse and could prolong it.
Individuals with special needs if a child has a special need then understanding, patience and sensitivity is required. Children, young people and adults may feel as though they can’t speak up due to lack of confidence or be anxious and nervous. Cultural Differences
People from different cultures and backgrounds may communicate differently and have different ways of doing things that we may find unusual or even rude. In some cultures it is offensive to use eye contact. It is important that the staff to be culturally aware to ensure the correct communication is been used.
A child or an adult may be suffering with home pressures that may be affecting their life outside of their home. As we get to know the pupils and adults we come to identify when something may be wrong and how we handle the situation, do we approach and ask if they need anything or do we give them space and allow them to work through it. This is why having a good judgment whilst working with adults and children is important.