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What Is a Speech or Language Impairment?


Updated June 25, 2014

Speech Therapist Interacting with child
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Definition: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines a speech or language impairment as a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, oral motor disorders, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.

Also Known As: communication disorder, speech impairment, language disorders, speech and language impediments, communication disability

A speech impairment involves a person's physical ability to correctly produce the sounds needed in speech. A language impairment involves an inability to process language receptively or expressively.
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