Communication Disorders


Communication disorders is a general term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in language, speech, and communication. This includes difficulties in receptive and expressive language, including the production of sounds, articulation and fluency deficits, difficulty in the acquisition and production of language across modalities (i.e., spoken, written), and difficulties in the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication.

Specific documentation guidelines for Communication Disorders include the following:

  • All general documentation guidelines listed in the ‘Guidelines for Disability Documentation’ tab on the left-hand side.
  • Documentation should reflect data collected within the past three to five years at the time of request for services.
  • A diagnosis consistent with the most recent DSM/ICD.
  • Evaluation/Assessment of the following diagnostic criteria is required and evaluation results should include:
    • Developmental history of the communication difficulties in early childhood, unless acquired later in life, in which the resulting event and disorder history should be documented.
    • A summary of present symptoms which meet the criteria for diagnosis of a communication disorder.
    • Treatments, medications, accommodations/auxiliary aids, services currently prescribed or in use.
  • Objective (quantitative and qualitative) evidence that symptoms are associated with significant functional impairment in the academic setting. Suggested sources for evidence of academic functional impairment include the results of a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation, speech/language evaluation, neurological report, physical evaluation report, and/or school records.