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Communication Disorders
Authors: Saraswathy Ramamoorthy with Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE

The ability to communicate is one of the most basic human skills. It is important for our survival. Any time people interact, they communicate in some way. Communication is how people share experiences, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and ideas with others. It brings people together.

Communication is important in childcare settings, too. As a childcare provider, you need to communicate with parents. We have included on this Web site a number of suggestions for talking with parents. You also need to communicate with children, and they need to communicate with you. Some children have trouble with this, though.

The first three years of life are the most important period in a child’s speech and language development. A child’s brain is able to learn speech and language best during this period. A child learns the rules of speech and language by listening to the people around him. Then he practices saying what he hears. This is how speech and language normally develop. This is called verbal communication. In this type of communication, one person, the speaker, says something to another person, the listener. The listener can then let the speaker know if his message was understood.

Communication is successful when both the people have understood something together. Anything that gets in the way of speaking or listening can break down communication. Communication breakdown is especially harmful for children. This is because children use communication to learn about the world around them. They also use communication to get the things they need. So it becomes important to identify and treat problems in a child’s communication as soon as possible. If they are not treated, the child might feel cut off from the people around her. Her learning will be slowed down.

There are many things parents and providers can do to help children learn to communicate with words. Share some ideas with parents.  Those ideas can work well in childcare, too!

A problem in communication is called a communication disorder. Communication disorders fit into two broad groups: 1) hearing disorders, and 2) speech and language disorders.

If you are concerned about a child in your care, talk with the parents. You may want to share some of the information in this section with parents. Or you may want to print out some of the linked pages to share with them.

Sources

Go to:
 • Hearing disorders
           • Speech and language disorders





For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at jmyerswa@purdue.edu

Please feel free to link to, print off, redistribute, or reprint
  any of these materials as long as the original credits remain intact.

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