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Organizations and Links

American Speech, Language and Hearing Association
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association is committed to ensuring that all people with speech, language, and hearing disorders receive services to help them communicate effectively. On the website, you will find resources to help you understand communication and communication disorders.

Learning Disabilities Association of Texas
Nationally-affiliated non-profit organization providing awareness and instruction for parents, teachers, therapists, or others involved with children who have learning differences.

National Center for Learning Disabilities
Offers handy, easy-to-use and printable forms designed to make it easier for you to manage your child’s or learning disability, or your own LD. Access checklists or worksheets at:

Center for Parent Information and Resources
A repository of resources and access to "a treasure trove of products related to children with disabilities" including sibling issues related to disabilities.
Includes articles and information about learning differences and ADHD.

Autism Society of Greater Austin (ASGA)
Nationally affiliated, non-profit, volunteer organization which provides support and information for families and individuals with autism, aspergers syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).

Other Recommended Sites

Beneficial Activities for Kids with Special Needs

Home Safety for Kids!

23 Ways to Communicate with a Non-Verbal Child

Routines and Children with Disabilities

Anxiety and Autism



Developmental Disorders

Childhood Apraxia  (CAS) - Many children with developmental speech disorders learn sounds in a typical order, just at a slower pace. Children with CAS, however,  do not follow typical sound-acquisition patterns and generally need intensive, long-term treatment to make progress toward intelligible speech. People with apraxia may know what they want to say, but their brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to form and sequence sounds for intelligible speech.

  Articulation and Phonological Disorders – Children who have difficulty forming speech sounds as expected for their age may have an articulation or phonological disorder. Their sound errors frequently impact their ability to be understood by others. Sound errors may include: substitutions, distortions, omissions, or additions. Young children who have articulation and phonological disorders may be at risk for other learning issues when they reach school age.  

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - AD/HD are biologically-based conditions causing a persistent pattern of difficulties resulting in inattention, hyperactivity, and/or impulsivity. Some symptoms seen in children diagnosed as having AD/HD include:

  • Making careless mistakes in schoolwork
  • Not listening to what is being said
  • Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Losing and misplacing belongings
  • Fidgeting and squirming in seat
  • Talking excessively
  • Interrupting or intruding on others

AD/HD consists of several subtypes, including:

  • AD/HD Predominantly Combined Type
  • AD/HD Predominantly Inattentive Type
    Six of nine symptoms of inattention must be present for diagnosis
  • AD/HD Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type
    Six of nine symptoms of inattention must be present for diagnosis
  Dyscalculia - A specific developmental disability affecting a person’s ability to conceptualize and perform mathematics.  
  Dyslexia - Dyslexia is a neurologically-based, often familial, disorder which interferes with the acquisition and processing of language. Varying in degrees of severity, it is manifested by difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including phonological processing, in reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, and sometimes in arithmetic.  These difficulties persist despite conventional instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity.  
  Dysgraphia - Dysgraphia is a difficulty in automatically remembering and mastering the sequence of muscle motor movements needed in writing letters or numbers.  
  Expressive language disorder  - Expressive language disorder occurs when an individual has problems expressing him or herself using spoken language. A child with an expressive language disorder has problems putting sentences together coherently, using proper grammar, recalling the appropriate word to use, or other similar problems. They are unable to communicate thoughts, needs, or wants at the same level or with the same complexity as his or her peers. The child often has a smaller vocabulary than his or her peers.  
  Non-Verbal Learning Disability - The term Nonverbal Learning Disability is confusing. People with NLD can speak--and indeed, are highly verbal. Their difficulties lie in the nonverbal or right-brain skills (visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative, and holistic processing functions.) Young children with NLD may present with a mature vocabulary, rote memory skills, and apparent early reading skills. Problems that parents may notice early on include: interacting with other children, acquiring self-help skills, and fine-motor difficulties. As children with NLD get older, their difficulties pose more and more challenges for meeting school demands and building friendships.  
  Receptive language disorder – Difficulty understanding the meaning of spoken or written words.  A receptive language disorder is a type of learning disability affecting the ability to understand spoken, and sometimes written, language. Students with receptive language disorders often have difficulty with speech and organizing their thoughts, which creates problems in communicating verbally with others and in organizing their thoughts on paper.  
  Stuttering - Stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. These speech disruptions may be accompanied by struggling behaviors, such as rapid eye blinks or tremors of the lips. Stuttering can make it difficult to communicate with other people, which often affects a person’s quality of life.  
  Typically-Developing - Typically-developing or peer models refers to children who exhibit age-appropriate cognitive, verbal, behavioral, social, and self-help skills. It is important to note that typically-developing children also benefit from small-group, individualized, or multi-sensory instruction. This "inclusive model" benefits both typically-developing and special needs students.  

Word-Finding Difficulties -  Difficulty accurately producing the correct word even when the word's meaning is understood. People with word finding difficulties may:

  • have a slower retrieval time for words
  • use inaccurate words
  • substitute words that are related by meaning (camera/binoculars)
  • substitute words that sound similar
  • have lengthy pauses within sentences
  • use lots of filler words (um, uh, you know)
  • repeat words or phrases
  • start a sentence then change direction (“She played...he raced her to the top”)
  • extra verbalizations that indicate knowledge of the word (“It starts with a B”; “It's a long word”; “I know it but I can't think of it”)
  • mime or gesture (pretend write for the target word “pencil”; snap fingers or roll eyes to show frustration about not coming up with the word)