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Sample Observation of a Developmentally Impaired Child

Updated on October 5, 2012

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Speech impairment observation

Introduction to Subject

Rena is a 4 year old Caucasian female, with curly brown hair and green eyes. Rena is 31 inches tall and weighs 30 pounds.

Rena is experiencing delayed speech. I have known Rena’s mother for 15 years and have frequent contact with her and the children.

Individual Functioning Level with the Physical Environment

Rena is not in preschool yet. She does interact normally with her siblings and friends. Rena deals well with her environment and gets along with others easily.

Rena lives with her mother, 23 year old female and 2 female siblings’ ages 1 and 6. They all live in an apartment on the Northwest side of Fresno. The mother is a full time student. Rena has a close relationship with her father and the co-parenting is very effective between her two parents.

Rena enjoys playing outside. She loves animals and is very happy to interact with adults as well. Rena is very coordinated and enjoys dancing and climbing. My enjoys many physical activities and seems to avoid activities that include sitting, for example, television.

Social Skills Ability to Function with People

Rena is very confident and outgoing. She has a healthy level of self esteem and is able to engage in individualized tasks as well as group activities.

Rena is a very likable child. She gets along well with others and is extremely affectionate. She has a bright smile and is very patient when attempting to communicate.

Rena has many friends and is treated fairly by her siblings. Her oldest sister tends to Rena’s needs during play and returns affection readily. Rena is very determined when she has a goal. Rena has to be reminded to share, and at times refuses to share.

After getting to know Rena, people like her and attend to her needs, treat her with respect and patience when she is attempting communication.


Rena has delayed speech development. She understands simple directions and communication appropriate with her age group. She says 15 words and is far below expected performance. Rena has a difficult time with the phonetic sounds of words. In the last 3 months she has showed great improvement in her speech, adding about 5 words to her vocabulary. She is also learning sign language to help her communicate more easily.

Rena’s father has a similar history of speech delay. He is able to speak a wide range of words although not as clear as would be expected.


With proper speech therapy and the use of sign language I expect Rena to be able to learn to communicate at a normal level. She seems understand when spoken to at an expected cognitive level for her age. I expect that she will be able to overcome her disability and function on a normal level as an adult with the help of sign language and phonetic practice. If Rena works hard and has the correct assistance I believe she is capable of being successful in K-12 and on to college. I suggest that Rena should be examined for any physical deformities in her mouth that may be contributing to her difficulty in speech.

I have known Rena since birth and have seen her improve tremendously in the past few months. Because of her special need she has been catered to by her family and friends and she tends to want her way at times and has not learned that she has boundaries and rules she needs to adhere to. As she matures, I am sure she will understand these. Rena is a beautiful girl with a wonderful and confident personality. She has a joyful disposition, and I believe she will have many friends when she attends school


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