Speech and language therapy in the school setting provides services to students from ages 3-21 who exhibit delays in the area of communication. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder is a delay in the ability to understand and use words in context, both verbally and non-verbally. Some characteristics of language disorders include improper use of words and their meaning, inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and inability to follow directions.
What is a speech and language therapist and what does she/he do?
A speech and language therapist is a professional educated in the study of human communication, its development and its disorders. When a student is referred for a speech and language consultation, the therapist first screens and then assesses (with parental permission) speech and language skills. An array of tests is used to determine what type of communication problem exists and the best way to treat these challenges. When a student is identified as being eligible for therapy, the therapist works on a one-to-one basis, in a small group or directly in the classroom using a variety of strategies to help the student overcome the difficulties associated with a specific problem.
Parents play a crucial role in the success of a child's progress in the speech and language program. Because they are so important, they are asked to help their child complete exercises and assignments at home. By working together, we can encourage "good speech" in the speech room, classroom and at home.
Communication is the foundation for learning and building relationships with people.