SPEECH AND LANGUAGE DEPARTMENT
RANGE AND SCOPE OF SERVICES
The speech and language department provides services to all students from kindergarten through grade 12. These services include assessments, in the forms of screenings and full speech and language evaluations, direct therapy services using a variety of therapy models, and participation on building-level child study teams.
Therapy services are provided for students who demonstrate a need in one or more areas of communication:
- Articulation therapy is provided for students when sound errors, in their speech, affect the ability to communicate within the classroom.
- Language therapy is provided for students whose language skills have an affect upon their communication within the academic curriculum. These areas include syntax or sentence structure, semantics or vocabulary skills, and/or pragmatics or language usage.
- Fluency therapy is provided for students when stuttering affects their ability to communicate within the classroom.
- Voice therapy is provided for students who have been diagnosed with an organic or functional voice disorder that is affecting the student’s ability to communicate within the classroom.
Teachers/therapists, parents, and in the case of middle and high school, students form the team that will decide the need for speech and language services. This team will gather information to decide the extent student’s communication skills are affecting their performance within the classroom.
Service Delivery Models
Collaboration among teachers, therapists, parents, and the student is the most important component of any therapy model. Over the past several years, research has consistently shown that collaboration among all team members is the most effective method of addressing a student’s speech and/or language needs. Therapy services have gone beyond the traditional “speech room” and are now being provided directly within the classroom using small group or team teaching models. By working collaboratively with the classroom teachers, the student’s speech and language needs will be met daily and more often in the classroom. The traditional pull-out therapy model is most appropriate when providing services in the areas of articulation and fluency. Collaborative or “in-class” therapy is now considered best practice when providing language services to students. The primary goal of any therapy model will be for the student to communicate within all areas of the curriculum. Collaboration or the student’s “team” working together can then seamlessly address areas of communication necessary for student success in the classroom.