SUGGESTIONS FOR HELPING THE
STUDENT WITH A SPEECH IMPAIRMENT
Speech impairment may call for
some minor classroom
adaptations in situations relying on class discussions, question
sessions, or student presentations. What follows are some general
guidelines to use for situations involving speech impaired students.
If you have any questions about
any of the information
presented above, call the Student Accessibility Center at 229-6287,
stop by Mitchell Hall Room 112, or e-mail Laurie Petersen.
- Impaired speech may be slower than unimpaired
speech. It is important that speech impaired students have an
equal opportunity to
voice their reactions or questions even if it means allotting extra
- It is also important to overcome the urge to interpret
or try to complete an impaired student's train of thought. Trying
to anticipate the question being asked can be embarrassing and/or
frustrating if the
completion of the sentence was not the question or point which the
was trying to make.
- There may be situations where the words or phrases the
person is using are not understood. Panic only gets in the way of
concentrating on what the student is trying to relay. Don't be
hesitant to ask for repetition of words or phrases; students with
speech impairments would much rather repeat a message in order to
communicate than to have someone ignore or pretend to understand what
they are saying. At times it is helpful to summarize the message
and check with the student for accuracy. Don't be embarrassed if,
as a last measure, you need the student to write the phrase for you.
- With increased exposure to people whose speech is
impaired, ability to understand their speech will improve.
Last updated: August 2, 2007