What type of problem would qualify a child to receive the services of the speech-language pathologist?
A child may have an articulation,
language, hearing, fluency or voice disorder that could make him or her
eligible for these services. In the school setting, there must be an
adverse effect on communication in the educational setting.
What is the goal of the speech/language program?
The goal is to help students develop
the speech and language skills necessary to achieve academic success
and communicate effectively with others.
How is it determined if a child should be placed in the program?
If either the teacher or the parents
are concerned about a student's speech/language proficiency, the
classroom teacher will initiate a request for pre-referral educational
support services through the Early Intervention Program (EIP). An EIP
team will meet to discuss the concerns and offer some prereferral
strategies. As part of those strategies, the speech-language
pathologist may determine that an observation/conversation with the
student is appropriate. This is completed after written parent
permission is received. It must be kept in mind that this is NOT
diagnostic. To see a copy of the Early Intervention form, refer to page
17 of Guidelines for Speech and Language Program.
If further information is deemed necessary, the student is referred to
the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) to determine the need for a
If, following evaluation, the student
is found by that team to be eligible for speech-language programming as
a special education or related service, an Individual Educational
Program (IEP), including goals and objectives, will be developed to
meet the student's needs. For school-based services, there must be an
adverse affect on communication in the educational setting. (See Determining Eligibility for Special Education Speech and Language Services)
What types of tests are administered?
Articulation tests are administered to assess speech sound
development. There are also various language and fluency tests. The
speech-language pathologist will select those most appropriate for your
child's suspected problem. Voice disorders are usually referred to the
therapist AFTER a student's physician has evaluated the child and
recommended voice therapy. An evaluation includes all of these components, with an emphasis on the area of concern.
Is the program open to eligible students in all grades?
Yes. The services are available to
children from age 3 through high school graduation. For children of
pre-school age, the parent should contact Katherine Coffey (794-8679),
the social worker who handles intake at that level. The procedure for
children in kindergarten through grade eight is described above.
Are parents involved in the program with their child?
Yes. Parents may be furnished with
suggested ways in which they may help their child develop better
speech/language skills. If the SLP thinks it would prove beneficial,
the student may be assigned home activities to reinforce the skills
being addressed in the therapy sessions.
How will the services be provided?
Speech/language therapy services are
provided in a variety of ways, depending on which setting is
appropriate to address student needs. Services can be provided in
individual and small group sessions in the speech language room or
within the classroom. In some cases, the SLP may provide services by
consulting with the teacher and other staff. Depending on grade level,
sessions vary from approximately 30 to 45 minutes and are scheduled
after consultation with the classroom teacher. Sessions may be
conducted by the school SLP or by a paraprofessional, under the
supervision of the SLP.
How long will my child remain in the program?
The length of time in the program
varies, depending upon the type and severity of the disorder. A yearly
review (Annual Review) discusses progress on goals and objectives and
develops a new IEP for the following year if appropriate.
Re-evaluation for eligibility must be completed every three years
What services does the SLP perform?
• Pre-referral strategies for classroom teachers or parents
• Diagnostic evaluations with standardized or informal instruments,
observations, speech and language sampling, curriculum-based assessment.
• Individualized, instructional/habilitative programs
• Hearing Screenings and other services to the hearing impaired
• Interdisciplinary team conferences (Planning and Placement Team) for student evaluation, planning and program monitoring
• Referral to and liaison with outside medical or clinical professionals
• Augmentative Communication