Central Valley School District Speech/Language Support

Probably the most common areas which often require remediation are articulation, phonology and phonemic awareness. 
Articulation is the production of speech sounds.  Articulation errors consist omitting a sound or sounds in a word, substituting one sound for another when saying a word or distorting a sound or sounds when verbalizing information.
Phonology is saying a sound associated with a given symbol. The student might have difficulty in the areas of phonics or sounding out words.
Phonemic Awareness is the ability to match letter symbols with associated sounds.  A deficit in phonemic awareness could cause difficulty with spelling, oral expression, reading and/or writing.
Another disorder that might require the help of the speech therapist is stuttering.  The speech therapist provides strategies to attempt to decrease the amount of stuttering and a safe environment to learn self-acceptance and self-advocacy skills.
Stuttering sometimes causes the student's verbalizing to be disrupted with hesitations, repetitions of whole words or part of a word and/or prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases. 

Pragmatic Language or Social Skills

Pragmatic Language or Social Skills is an additional area that could be addressed during speech sessions with students who have an identified need. Students are given the opportunity to practice carrying on a conversation using a suggested or random topic. The students rehearse how to maintain the topic of conversation, shift to a related topic or transition the discussion to a new topic.

Students are provided with the opportunity to provide verbal responses to oral questions. Students are also prompted to form verbal questions that would clarify information. Forming questions is based on scenarios suggested by the therapist. Instruction is given to make the student aware of information obtained by using various question words.

The goal is to build confidence in each student’s ability to communicate. The hope is that each student will actively participate in the educational setting and social situations.

Listening Comprehension Skills

Classroom success is more difficult for students who struggle with Receptive Language in the area of Listening Comprehension Skills. The Speech Therapist may provide services when it is determined that a student’s classroom learning is negatively affected by poor listening skills.

The therapist attempts to improve the student’s auditory memory, auditory perception and auditory interpretation. The amount of verbal information presented by the therapist is gradually increased throughout the remediation process. Instruction is also provided regarding self-help strategies the student can use to try to be more successful in the learning environment.

Process for Speech/Language Referrals

There is a Process for Speech/Language Referrals. The following steps have been developed if a teacher feels a student might demonstrate the need for a speech and/or language screening.

1) The referring teacher notifies the speech therapist.

2) The Speech Therapist may collaborate with any or all of the following to determine how to proceed: Another CVSD Speech/Language Pathologist, Director of Special Education, Building Administrator and/or Referring Teacher.

3) The speech therapist will provide a referral form to the referring teacher if it is decided that a screening is appropriate.

4) The parent/guardian will be notified that their child has been referred for a screening. A grace period will be provided so the parent has the opportunity to object to having the screening completed.

5) If the parent does not object, the speech therapist will contact the classroom teacher in order to avoid scheduling conflicts and schedule the screening.

6) The speech therapist will write a summary and recommendation based on screening results.

7) The parent and referring teacher will be given a copy of the summary.

Central Valley School District Speech/Language Support Semantics, Syntax and Morphology

The Speech Therapist can provide supplemental instruction to students who struggle with vocabulary knowledge, understanding and/or expressing ideas and using grammatically correct sentences.

Students who have an identified need may require supportive intervention to attempt to more appropriately develop semantics, syntax and morphology. The following information is a brief description for each area of language.

Semantics – understanding meanings of words, literal vs. figurative, word relationships and organization

Syntax – verbal/written Q & A, negation, sentence variation, and proper word order

Morphology – nouns, pronouns, articles, word endings, verb tenses, plurals and possessives

Central Valley School District Speech/Language Support Voice Disorders

A student may require instruction with the speech therapist if he/she experiences a voice disorder. The following are symptoms of a voice disorder: poor vocal quality due to pitch, volume, harshness, breathiness, resonance, and intermittent or extended loss. A directive from a medical doctor is required before beginning therapy. Therapy consists of educating the student about how the vocal mechanism functions, how to protect/care for his/her voice, behavior modification to reduce vocal abuse and breathing techniques in an effort to improve vocal quality.

Leanna Gottron
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