Speech/Language therapy is provided by teachers of speech improvement. It is designed to address deficits in a student's auditory processing, articulation/phonological skills, comprehension and use of semantics, syntax, pragmatics, voice production and fluency.
Speech/language therapy may be recommended for a student with a communication problem, including problems of language comprehension and expressive language which adversely affect school performance. In addition, it may be recommended for students with speech production skills whose speech is unintelligible or not commensurate with the student's total profile, including cognitive development which adversely affect his or her educational performance. Students who function below a six month old cognitive level may not be ready for speech/language therapy as a related service but rather should receive sensory or language stimulation as part of their primary program.
The IEP team must take care in differentiating for ELL students a language difference as opposed to a speech/language impairment. If an ELL student is encountering only language differences, ESL services not speech/language therapy should be provided.
At District 75 we work to train our staff and empower them to prepare school based Assistive Technology Evaluations on their students. In support of this, as well as to provide some guidance as to the fundamental skills needed to effectively use an alternative augmentative communication (AAC) device, we have prepared skills checklists for commonly recommended devices. This will also aid everyone in improving an understanding of required skills to increase appropriate recommendations and reduce unnecessary frustration for our students.