SPLH 261 Survey of Communication Disorders

Fall 2009 Syllabus


Class Meetings: MWF 9:00 – 9:50 2092 Dole



Class Instructor: Nancy Brady, Ph.D; nbrady@ku.edu; 864-0762

Office Hours: Thursdays 1:00-2:30, Dole 3008 or by appointment





Course Description

How do people communicate? What's the difference between hearing, speech and language and communication? How does having a communication disorder impact one's life? What are the roles of audiologists and speech language pathologists in assessing and treating communication disorders? This course addresses these questions by providing a general understanding of normal and deviant speech, language, and hearing in adults and children. This course considers normal development of communication behavior, the nature of communication disorders, and the interaction of speech pathology and audiology with allied fields (e.g., education, medicine, psychology, special education). This course serves as a principal course in Social Sciences: Individual Behavior (SI).


Course Objectives

This course is designed to meet the requirements of ASHA Knowledge Standards III-B Normal Processes, III-C Communication Disorders, and III-D Clinical Application in the area of Foundations. During this course, students will learn:


  1. To differentiate the concepts of communication, speech, language, and hearing
  2. Basic anatomy and physiology for speech, language and hearing
  3. Basic speech production terminology & concepts related to respiratory, laryngeal, and supralaryngeal systems;
  4. Basic linguistic terminology & concepts related to phonology, morphology, the lexicon (word forms and semantics), and syntax;
  5. Developmental milestones for speech and language acquisition;
  6. Introductory clinical approaches (including diagnostic and treatment) to developmental and acquired speech and language disorders such as speech sound disorders, fluency disorders, and language disorders.
  7. Introduction to speech and language disorders that occur in special populations such as individuals with autism and Down syndrome.
  8. Introductory clinical approaches to behavioral and objective evaluation of the auditory system in adults and children;
  9. Introductory clinical approaches to aural rehabilitation with adults and children


Course Materials

Required Readings:

  1. Plante, E.M. & Beeson, P. M. (2008). Communication & Communication Disorders: A Clinical Introduction (3rd Edition). Pearson: Boston.
  2. Additional required readings will be available electronically through Blackboard. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access these files.


On-line Resources:

  1. Blackboard course website at http://courseware.ku.edu



1.    Readings

Readings complement the lectures and will not be explicitly summarized in class. Students are responsible for all readings, and should be prepared to integrate the readings with class discussion. Readings will be tested regularly on exams and quizzes.


2.    Clinical Observation

Each student is required to complete one clinical observation of speech, language, or hearing assessment or treatment in the Schiefelbusch Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic (on campus) and submit a 1 page report of the observation. This observation must be completed between September 16 and November 20 and the report must be submitted by November 23. The Observation report is to be uploaded via the digital drop box option of Blackboard. Failure to complete the observation and report will result in a grade of INCOMPLETE for the course. A hand-out is available on blackboard describing the procedures for observing in the clinic and completing the written report. YOU MUST COMPLETE A CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT AND TURN IT IN TO DR. BRADY PRIOR TO OBSERVING IN THE CLINIC! A copy is available on blackboard and will be distributed/completed on the first day of class.


An optional second observation and report may be completed for extra credit. Up to 10 points of extra credit will be given for a second report. The deadline for a second report is also November 23.


3.    Attendance and discussion (40 points;)

Because this is a survey course, a large volume of material will be covered. It is to your benefit to attend lecture and take notes to aid in your learning of this material. Slides used in class will be available on Blackboard. However, additional valuable information, videos, guest speakers, and explanation of the slides will be provided during lecture. In addition, students will have an opportunity in lecture to clarify their understanding. To encourage regular attendance, attendance checks and/or learning checks will be regularly administered without warning. An example of a learning check would be completing a short in-class writing assignment following a class discussion. A maximum of 5 points will be available for each check. These points will count towards your final grade. Approximately 10 checks are anticipated but this may vary. Eight checks, or 40 points will count toward your final grade.


4.       Exams (320 points;)

Four required exams are scheduled: September 16, October 12, November 6 and December 7. There will be no opportunities to make-up or postpone exams.


All exams will evaluate your understanding of key terms and concepts, lectures, class discussions, and readings. Each exam is worth 80 points and will consist of objective questions (e.g., true/false, multiple choice, matching) plus one short answer question.


There will be a study guide for key concepts to help you study for the exams. These guides will be posted on Blackboard prior to each exam.


In addition, there is an optional cumulative final exam scheduled for Tuesday December 18, 7:30 a.m.. The cumulative final exam will be worth 80 points and will consist of objective exam questions plus 1-2 short answer questions. You may take this final exam to replace one of your other exam grades. Thus, if you earn a low score on Exam 1, 2, 3, or 4 you may take the cumulative final exam and your score will replace your lowest previous exam score (provided that you earn a higher score on the cumulative final). Alternatively, if you miss Exam 1, 2, 3, or 4 you may take the cumulative final exam to replace your score of 0 for the missed exam. If you are satisfied with your scores on Exams 1-4, you do NOT need to take the optional cumulative final exam.


5.    Weekly Quizzes (90 points, ~ 20 % final grade)

Weekly quizzes will provide students with sample questions that may be asked on exams, help students identify key concepts covered in readings and lecture, and provide extra practice applying course concepts. Weekly quizzes will be administered through Blackboard. Weekly quizzes will be available by 6:00 pm Fridays and will be due by the following Wednesday at noon, typically, but there will be some variability due to breaks and Exam dates. Consult the attached calendar for Quiz dates. Students should attempt to answer each question without referring to class notes or the textbook, then verify their answers before submitting the quiz. Elleven quizzes are scheduled, each worth 10 points, but only the best 9 quizzes will count towards your final grade (i.e., your lowest 2 quiz grades will be dropped from your final grade). There will be no opportunities to make-up or postpone weekly quizzes. Quizzes must represent a student's own independent work.


6.    ExtraCredit. In addition to the option of completing an additional observation (see above), there will be at least one other extra credit opportunity. During the month of September, students will be asked to volunteer to have their hearing screened by SPLH 660 students. Students that complete this activity will receive 5 points of extra credit.


Audio or Video Taping Lecture

Course materials prepared by the instructor, together with the content of all lectures and review sessions presented by the instructor are the property of the instructor. Video and audio recording of lectures and review sessions without the consent of the instructor is prohibited. On request, the instructor will usually grant permission for students to audio tape lectures, on the condition that these audio tapes are only used as a study aid by the individual making the recording. Unless explicit permission is obtained from the instructor, recordings of lectures and review sessions may not be modified and must not be transferred or transmitted to any other person, whether or not that individual is enrolled in the course.



Significant learning may start in the classroom but it should continue to grow outside the classroom when students become actively engaged with the material. In this course, you will be actively engaged with the material outside of class through completion of readings, quizzes, and study guides. As stated in the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (5.1.1) "One semester hour means course work normally represented by an hour of class instruction and two hours of study a week for one semester, or an equivalent amount of work. The concept may vary according to the level at which instruction is offered."


Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to observe all University guidelines pertaining to academic misconduct. As stated in the University Senate Rules and Regulations (2.6.1):


"Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing of another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research." Academic misconduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with all University rules and regulations.


Non-Academic Misconduct

The scope and content of the material included in this course are defined by the instructor in consultation with the responsible academic unit. While the orderly exchange of ideas, including questions and discussions prompted by lectures, discussion sessions and laboratories, is viewed as a normal part of the educational environment, the instructor has the right to limit the scope and duration of these interactions. Students who engage in disruptive behavior, including persistent refusal to observe boundaries defined by the instructor regarding inappropriate talking, discussions, and questions in the classroom or laboratory may be subject to discipline for non-academic misconduct for disruption of teaching or academic misconduct, as defined in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR), Article 22, Section C, and the University Senate Rules and Regulations, Section 2.4.6. Article 22 of CSRR also defines potential sanctions for these types of infractions.



The staff of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), 135 Strong, 785-864-2620 (v/tty), coordinates accommodations and services for KU courses. If you have a disability for which you may request accommodation in KU classes and have not contacted them, please do so as soon as possible. Please also notify the instructor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within one week of receiving this syllabus so that appropriate accommodations for this course can be discussed.


If a scheduled exam, lab exercise, or quiz is in conflict with a mandated religious observance, you must notify the instructor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within one week of receiving this syllabus so that an alternative arrangement can be made in advance of the scheduled requirement.



The University has prescribed definitions for grades. The University Senate Rules and Regulations define grades in the following way:         The grade of A will be reported for achievement of outstanding quality         The grade of B will be reported for achievement of high quality         The grade of C will be reported for achievement of acceptable quality         The grade of D will be reported for achievement that is minimally passing but at less than acceptable quality


In this course, quality of achievement will be evaluated through points earned on attendance, exams, and on-line quizzes. Points assigned for each requirement will be in-line with the above described scale. The relationship between total points accumulated and quality of achievement as indicated by letter grade is as follows:



Total Points

Letter Grade



























If your level of achievement during this course is falling short of your goal, you are strongly encouraged to consult with the instructor during office hours or by appointment to improve the quality of your learning of course material.


SPLH 261 Spring 2009 Calendar


August 21: Introduction & Syllabus & Pre-course survey


August 24: Communication and Communication Disorders Overview (Chapter 1)


August 26: Acoustics Overview (Ch. 3 pp. 45-49)

Introduction to hearing and hearing disorders (Ch.10)


August 28: Anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism (Ch.10)


August 28-Sept 2 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 1


August 31: Assessment of hearing – guest lecturer Judy Widen (Ch. 11)


September 2: Treatment of hearing impairments (Ch. 11-12)


September 4: The incredible ear – guest lecturer John Ferraro (Ch 10)


Sept 4-Sept 9 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 2


September 7: No class (labor day)


September 9: Anatomy and physiology of speech and language system (ch. 2)


September 11: Anatomy and physiology of speech and language cont. (ch. 2)


Sept 11 – Sept 15 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 3- note due date


September 14: More anatomy and physiology, Catch up and review for Exam 1


September 16 Exam 1


September 16 Clinical Observation Period Begins (must complete 1 observation)


September 18: Components of speech, normal speech development (Ch. 3)


Sept 18 – Sept 23 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 4


September 23: Speech sound disorders (ch. 4)


September 25: Speech sound disorders (ch. 4)


Sept 25 – Sept 30 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 5


September 28: Treatment of speech sound disorders and clinical problem solving


September 30: Fluency disorders (Ch. 5)


October 2: Fluency disorders cont. (ch. 5)


Oct. 2 – Oct 7 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 6


October 5: Voice disorders- guest speaker CW Moreland (ch. 6)


October 7: swallowing and swallowing disorders (ch. 6)


October 9: catch up and review for Exam 2


October 12: Exam 2


October 14: Introduction to language (ch. 7)


Oct 14 – Oct 21 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 7


October 16: No class (Fall break)


October 19: Language development (Ch. 7)


October 21: Language development and literacy (ch. 7)


October 23: Language disorders in children (Ch. 8)


Oct 23- Oct 27 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 8


October 26: Language disorders in children (ch. 8)


October 28: Language disorders in adults (ch. 9 and Blackboard reading)


October 30: Language disorders in adults (Ch. 9 and Blackboard reading)


Oct 30 – Nov. 4 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 9


November 2: Communication in persons with ASD (pp. 194-196 and Blackboard reading)


November 4: Communication in persons with ASD/catch up and review


November 6 Exam 3


November 9: Communication in persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities (Down syndrome; Fragile X syndrome) (ch. 8 and blackboard reading)


November 11: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) (Blackboard reading)


November 13: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)


Nov. 13 – Nov. 18 (noon) Blackboard Weekly Quiz 10


November 16: Family perspectives on having a child with a communication disorder (Blackboard reading, pp. 72-88 from Schuler's Monster)


November 18: parent panel


November 20 No class (ASHA convention)


November 20 Clinical Observation Period Ends (must have completed 1 observation)


Nov. 20- Nov. 25 (noon) Blackboard weekly Quiz 11


November 23: Evidence based research in communication interventions


November 23: Clinical Observation Report Due to Dr. Brady


November 25: No class (Thanksgiving break)


November 27: No class (thanksgiving break)


November 30: Professional issues in Speech pathology and audiology (ch. 1, pp 11-23; ch. 13)


December 2: Panel of experts


December 4: Discussion of panel/ review for Exam 4 and Administration of Post course survey


December 7 Exam 4


December 9: Wrap up and review for optional final


December 18, 7:30 a.m. optional cumulative final