Other considerations for communication and language disorders

Safety

Some students may not know how to tell an adult if there is an emergency, or what to do in an emergency. Consider making time to demonstrate and practise what to do, or provide them with a non-verbal or simple way to communicate an emergency. 

Role plays can help students learn safety behaviours.

Behaviour

Some students might show behaviours of concern. It’s important to remember students are most likely trying to communicate a need or want that is not being met.

Opportunities for students to reflect on their behaviour may be helpful. Consider having face-to-face discussions to check student understanding of expectations of behaviour. It may help to ask students to record their own behaviour. Access our self-monitoring form.

Consider providing the student with age-appropriate stories about social situations that they may come across at school. This might help them learn expected behaviours and classroom routines.

Refer to the behaviour page for more information on how to reduce behaviours of concern by supporting the student and promoting more helpful behaviour, and our emotions page for more information about supporting a student with managing their emotions.

Transitions to secondary school

For more information about supporting students with disability when transitioning to a high school setting access our transition page.

Other co-occuring conditions

Communication disorders can often co-occur with other developmental delays such as autism, intellectual disability, and specific learning disability. They can also co-occur in students who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing or blind or low vision.

Refer to understanding disability page or common needs page for more information on how to support a student.

Friendships

Encouraging teamwork and giving the student active and important roles in activities can create a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Focus on a student’s strengths and avoid drawing attention to their challenges (for example, asking a student who stutters to repeat themselves multiple times).

Some students with communication disorders may not be aware of the social cues that indicate that bullying is happening (for example, mean comments), or may not know how to communicate that they are being bullied. It may help to check in with the student and ask questions about their friendships.

Consider using role-play in the classroom to highlight how students can identify bullying, and how they can address it.

Access our school stories for examples.

Assessments

Simple and concise language in assessments may allow a student better opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of content.

Consider talking to students about the meaning of words typically used in assessment tasks (for example, explain, discuss, compare).

Consider breaking down large amounts of written material into smaller components.

In addition to written material, visual aids such as graphs, charts, pictures and icons may help the student have a better understanding of the information being presented.

Some students may need more time to complete their assessment tasks or might need fewer tasks in the given time.

Consider providing opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in different ways (for example, using posters/models, or video clips)

Consider working collaboratively with the student’s parents and health professionals to identify strategies that might help support the student in this area.