Topic 1: Introduction to Organic Communication Disorders

GOAL: You will gain an understanding of the meaning of the term "organic communication disorder" and develop some basic knowledge regarding birth defects in general, and clefts in particular.


  1. What does the title of the course mean to you?
  2. What individuals present with organically based communication disorders?
  3. How common are birth defects?
  4. What constitutes a birth defect?
  5. What are some types of birth defects?
  6. What is clefting?
  7. What is the incidence of clefting?


Organic Communication Disorder

Birth Defect

Frequency of Birth Defects




To complete this topic successfully, please complete the following activities in the order shown below:

Lesson 1: Course Relevance to Speech Language Pathology

icon READING: Kummer, A., Preface: xxv -xxvii

icon ONLINE LESSON: Course Relevance

Lesson 2: Birth Defects


March of Dimes web site: Click on the "birth defects" link and read that thoroughly. Then peruse the extensive list of birth defects and genetic conditions for which the March of Dimes has information.

icon ONLINE LESSON: Birth Defects

icon GROUP DISCUSSION: Your experience with birth defects

icon ASSIGNMENT: Frequency of birth defects

icon ASSIGNMENT: Communication problems with Cystic Fibrosis

Lesson 3: Introduction to Clefting/Craniofacial Anomalies

icon READING: Kummer, A., Chapter 2, pp. 37-38: "What is a Cleft?"

icon ONLINE LESSON: Clefting/Craniofacial Anomalies

icon ASSIGNMENT: Individuals with clefts