Welcome to Speech and Language!

Speech and language skills are an important part of a child's education. In order to engage in the learning process, a child needs to listen, process, comprehend and effectively express information. Difficulty in an area of speech or language may impact literacy skills (decoding, , comprehension, spelling, written expression), as well as the ability to comprehend and/or express information.

Articulation- The execution of speech sounds with regard to place of contact in the mouth, airflow, and voicing. A child who is misarticulating a sound(s), or substituting another sound for one that most children their age have mastered, may qualify for articulation therapy.

Phonology- This refers to the sounds of the child’s language. Children who use systematic rules in selecting and producing speech sounds may have a phonological disorder. For example, substituting front sounds (t, d) for back sounds (k, g) or leaving off the final sound in a word are phonological processes. Some processes are normal for young children as they are acquiring their sound inventory. If a child continues to use these rules to govern their speech sound production after the time period in which processes should be corrected, s/he may qualify for therapy targeting the elimination of phonological processes.

Fluency-This refers to prolongations of sounds in words, repetition of sounds and syllables, and breaks in speech commonly referred to as stuttering. There are many types of disfluencies that are commonly produced in everyday speech, such as word repetitions and “fillers” (uh, um, like). A child who produces stuttered disfluencies, depending on frequency and the impact on the child, may qualify for therapy.

Voice- This refers to the quality of voice. The most frequent cases in elementary schools are children who acquire a harsh or breathy voice. This can indicate damage to the vocal folds, and the child may receive instruction in vocal hygiene (i.e., water intake, speaking volume). In severe and/or chronic cases, it may be recommended that the child be seen by an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Language-This refers to meaningful parts of speech, meaning of words, sentence structure and conversation and social skills. A child who has difficulty expressing or comprehending (or both) directions, vocabulary, grammar, word order, concepts, complex sentences, conversational turn taking, sequencing, etc. may qualify for language intervention services.

Alternative and Augmentative Communication-This refers to modes of communication used to supplement and support speech. These types of communication include, but are not limited to: assistive technology (i.e. Dynavox, Dynamyte, Springboard, etc.), sign language, picture and symbol communication systems, and communication boards.

Who qualifies to receive Speech and Language services in school?

Students who demonstrate a speech and/or language disorder that negatively impacts their ability to make progress in their educational program.

Gina Oyler


(814) 467-4567 ext 141