Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Larson, Susan

Second Reader

Michael Mignard;


A communication disorder impacts the ability to express or understand language. The American Speech Language Hearing Association estimates that 5-10% of people in the United States have a speech or language disorder. A communication disorder may exist alone or as part of another developmental disorder, such autism, or a developmental cognitive disability. Individuals diagnosed with disabilities that include communication deficits have increased challenging behaviors compared to neurotypical peers. A common belief is that all behavior is communication. This paper discusses research linking communication disorders and challenging behaviors with recommendations for interventions that support communication with the goal to decrease challenging behaviors.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis