Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for students and teachers...

7. Communication & Learning Disorders

Learning Objectives

Describe the key features of children’s communication disorders.


Identify the main causes of communication disorders and their evidence-based treatment.


Differentiate between a specific learning disorder and a specific learning disability.


Describe how learning disorders and disabilities are identified in school-age children.

Give examples of evidence-based treatments for school-age children with reading, writing, or math disabilities.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Ready to Study? Click here to access flashcards for key terms presented in the text. Flashcards are a great way to help you define, explain, and give examples of important terms and ideas. (You may need to create a free Quizlet account to access the flashcards.)

Test Your Critical Thinking

Ready to Review? Click here to review each of the research questions presented in the text. Review questions are a great way to test your application and critical thinking skills.


Speech Therapy

Imitation is a critical component of evidence-based speech therapy for children with speech disorders. A speech-language therapist demonstrates the use of imitation in treatment.


In this video, produced by The Stuttering Foundation, kids describe what it's like to have childhood-onset fluency disorder.

Response to Intervention (RTI)

This video, produced by Edutopia, shows how teachers at one Michigan public school implement RTI to help children at risk for learning problems.

Learn More

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASLHA is the largest professional organization of speech-language pathologists—individuals who identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems in children and adults. The link for “The Public” provides a nice overview of hearing and communication disorders and their treatment. The link labeled “Careers” describes career options for students interested in this profession.

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

NASP is a professional organization for school psychologists that represents and supports the discipline through education, advocacy, and training. The link "About School Psychology" provides a wealth of information for graduate students who are training to be school psychologists and undergraduate students who are considering a profession in school psychology. NASP also posts position papers and reviews important topics related to child mental health.

National Center on Response to Intervention

The National Center on Response to Intervention is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The Center’s mission is to provide technical assistance to states and districts and build the capacity of states to assist districts in implementing proven models for RTI. The link “What is RTI?” provides an introduction to this method of identifying children with learning disabilities.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

This site provides a user-friendly introduction to learning disabilities in children including case studies and the IDEA definition of learning disabilities. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the site, which shows useful links for parents and teachers.

National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities

The National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD) is a committee of representatives of organizations committed to the education and welfare of individuals with learning disabilities. Their website offers a good starting point for researching the topic of learning disabilities and disorders. Be sure to click the “Especially for…” links to find information for professionals and parents as well as stories and artwork by children with disabilities.

National Reading Panel (NRP)

If you want additional information about the NRP’s important study on the treatment of learning disabilities, consult their website. From this site, you can also access the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and United States Department of Education.