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How Speech/Language Skills Can Affect Academic Performance

Required for verbal expression in all curricular areas. Multiple articulation errors can indicate a disordered phonological system which could impact on spelling and reading.  Noticeable differences
in speech production can have a negative impact on self-confidence, peer relationships, and vocational/career opportunities. 

Oral/Motor Skills
Disorders in muscle tone, movement, and sensation of the articulators may affect speech production, chewing, drinking,  swallowing, and the ability to manage saliva.

Noticeable differences in vocal pitch, quality, and volume can affect self-confidence and peer relationships. Poor vocal hygiene can lead to lasting physical changes of the vocal folds. Voice differences can be a symptom of medical concerns.

Stuttering can inhibit classroom participation and affect peer relationships. Vocational/career choices may be limited, despite the individual’s competency levels in non-speech areas. 

Auditory Processing: Attention, Memory, Discrimination, Sequencing, Sound Blending, Closure
Deficits in these skills can affect performance in all academic areas that involve auditory reception and processing of curricular material and following oral directions.  Spelling and reading can be affected by difficulty analyzing and applying the phonemic code.

 Semantics : Vocabulary, Definitions, Concepts, Multiple Meanings, Categorization, Comparisons, Synonyms/Antonyms, Analogies
All areas of communication (listening, speaking, reading, writing) are affected by weaknesses in semantic skills, therby impacting on all areas of the curriculum.

 Grammar/Syntax: Parts of speech, Sentence types, Sentence construction
The knowledge and application of grammatical rules is essential for both spoken and written language.  Deficits impact on the ability to comprehend, analyze, and produce language effectively.

Pragmatics: Organizational skills, Sequencing information, Critical thinking, Making judgments & inferences, Social appropriateness of interactions, Nonverbal communication.
Deficits in these skills affect listening, problem solving, reading comprehension, study skills, oral and written language, and social interactions.
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