Kristi Kovacek's Speech and Language Website

Adler Park School (847)362-7275 

Speech/Language Services
Libertyville School District #70


What is Speech and Language? 
As school Speech-language Pathologists, we primarily target articulation,
language and pragmatic skills. However, we also address other areas such
as fluency (stuttering), voice, auditory processing, and augmentative and
alternative communication.

Articulation:
Students receiving support in the area of articulation are taught proper
pronunciation of sounds. Typical sounds addressed include; /r, l, s, z,
th, sh, ch/. These target sounds vary depending on the child’s age and
developmental readiness. Oral-motor activities are often implemented to
increase oral awareness, strength, and range of motion necessary for
accurate and precise sound production.

Language:
Students receiving language support typically experience difficulty in
either expressive (how we use language) or receptive (how we interpret and
understand) language, but most commonly will exhibit delays in both areas.
Common difficulties of children with language delays include:
categorization, problem solving, vocabulary, auditory comprehension,
figurative langauge, analogies, synonyms, antonyms, among many more
possible difficulties.

Pragmatic Skills:
Pragmatic skills are the social language skills used in social situations.
Students exhibiting difficulty with pragmatic skills may demonstrate
reduced eye contact, turn-taking skills, and social problem solving
skills.

Our Programs: 
Our programs are designed to meet each child’s individual needs in the
most effective and appropriate manner. Most often, children receive
speech-language services in the structured speech and language room
setting in small groups of 2-3 children. This method of service allows
them to receive an increased amount of one-on-one instructions and more
efficient remediation.

 
How do children qualify? 
Children qualify for speech and language services based on formalized
speech and language testing. The process begins when a parent or a teacher
has a concern regarding a student, in the area of speech or language
skills. The child is then brought up to the “team” of special educators
including the Learning Disabilities resource teachers, Occupational
Therapist, Psychologist, Speech/Language Pathologists, Regular Education
Resource teachers, School Administrator, and school nurse. A team decision
is made as to what direction to go with a child. Options include screening
the child for language skills,
modifications to the class, or a full evaluation. If a child fails a
language screening, a team decision will be made to either complete a
formalized language evaluation, or other placement options.

If a full evaluation is conducted, the speech-language pathologist will
conduct formalized language testing. Based on those results, and compared
with intelligence testing conducted by the school psychologist, placement
options are considered. In order to receive services in the school, a
child must be functioning in the moderate to severely delayed range in
regard to language skills. For most standardized testing that we conduct,
the average range for a standard score is 85-115. This means, that for a
child to qualify for speech/language services, the child must achieve a
standard score below 80. This is because in a school setting, the delays
must impact educational learning or academic achievement.

What is the role of the School Speech-Language Pathologist?
 
IDENTIFIES and EVALUATES students with speech, language and related areas
of difficulty

PLANS and CONDUCTS activities to improve a students speaking, listening
and other language skills

COLLABORATES with parents, caregivers, teachers, and other professionals
to facilitate the understanding and meeting of a student’s speech,
language, and academic needs

MONITORS and DOCUMENTS the effectiveness of treatment and student progress

WRITES reports and does other required paperwork including development of
Individual Education Plans (IEP’s)

EDUCATES parents, teachers, and administrators about communication
development and disorders

Caseload Considerations: 
-severity of the speech or language difficulty/disorder
-Effect of the difficulty on the student’s school performance and /or
social relationships
-Developmental stage of the difficulty
-Relationship of the problem to other considerations (e.g. hearing loss,
mental retardation, learning disabilities, physical or other health
impairments)
-Types of Service Provided: individual, small or large group,
consultation, classroom support, accommodations