Speech and Language services are an integral part of the total educational program. The role of the Speech-Language Specialist in the schools is to provide speech and language therapy services to students, advice to teachers in developing classroom activities, and goals to improve students’ oral and written communication skills, and to work cooperatively with other specialists and staff in the school, as well as parents. The goal is to remediate, ameliorate, or alleviate student deficits of communication skills within the educational setting. Speech and language specialists use formal and informal assessments to identify and provide intervention for students with disorders of language, speech articulation, fluency, and voice. Interventions focus on a student’s abilities, rather than disabilities. Speech and language services are often delivered to students in a variety of school settings according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Language is essential to communicate our needs, feelings and ideas with those around us. When a child has difficulty understanding and using language it can impact his/her social and academic development in school.
Some children often demonstrate difficulty producing speech sounds. Speech articulation requires the correct production of sounds to form words. Children need sound development to communicate effectively. It is not uncommon for young children to have difficulty producing specific speech sounds. Speech sound development is often related to the child’s chronological age and may or may not be a problem.
Other children may exhibit non fluent speech (stuttering) or may use an inappropriate pitch, volume, or quality of voice. These speech disorders may make it difficult for a child to communicate successfully in the classroom.
Does my child need Speech and Language therapy?
It is very common to have a wide range of acceptable abilities and skills among children of similar age. But if you, as the parent, begin to feel that there is a big gap between your child and others, then it may be time to seek the advice of a trained speech-language specialist.
If you are concerned about your child’s speech and language development, please contact the Child Study Team at his or her school.