Speech and Language Pathology Services
The speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a specialist degree in communication skills development and intervention. The SLP holds an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification, and usually a national certification through the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). The speech-language pathologist provides services including screenings, evaluations, intervention,and consultative services for students with a wide range of communication needs.
Communication services are a function of special education,and students may qualify for those services through a referral and evaluation process outlined by federal law. Eligibility for services is determined by a team (i.e., teachers, specialists, administrators, parents/guardians) and is dependent upon whether the identified communication disorder adversely affects academic and/or social performance. Students qualifying for SLP services require specialized instruction, which is outlined in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) procedure.
The caseload of the SLP typically consists of students with a variety of communication needs, including the following:
· Language: may include, but not be limited to, the understanding and/or use of appropriate vocabulary, sentence structure, grammar skills, and pragmatics (functional/social communication skills).
· Phonological awareness skills: the ability to think about and manipulate the sound system(rhyming, syllable segmentation, alliteration, sound play, etc.).
· Voice: voice production characterized by hoarseness, breathiness, and/ or abnormal pitch or volume.
· Fluency: speech characterized by multiple repetitions, prolongations,blocks; difficulties monitoring rate of speech; also may have physical secondary characteristics (i.e., facial grimaces).
· Articulation/Phonology: speech sound production errors; oral motor difficulties, phonological processes (patterns of errors).
· Referral source for hearing impairment: annual hearing screeningand follow-up measures.
· In-class support/intervention.
· Collaborative:co-therapy with other specialists (occupational therapist; school counselor,etc.)
· Therapy within therapy room traditionally called “pullout services” in the form of:individual; small group; and/or large group sessions.
· Team teaching with regular and/or special education teacher.
· Consultation with teachers and parents.