Speech-language services: The speech-language therapist works with students, as well as collaborating with the whole team, in order for optimal generalization of their skills. Based on each student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP), his/her communication goal and objectives are addressed through direct speech therapy provided individually, paired with a peer, and/or in a small group. Indirect time is also spent with the classroom teacher, paraprofessionals, outside therapy services, and families. Collaboration is key in order to generalize their skills throughout the day and into the home and community settings.
The term speech refers to verbal speech in the form of words, phrases and sentences, vocalizations in the form of sounds and syllables and speech output via means of an augmentative communication system. Verbal speech also includes one’s articulation skills, volume, fluency and quality of his/her voice production.
The term language refers to both receptive (what the student understands) and expressive (what the student says) language skills. Students work on their receptive language skills through vocabulary identification, sorting and matching of pictures and objects, auditory comprehension when following directions, answering different types of questions (i.e. yes/no, wh-questions) and understanding of basic concepts such as over, under, top, bottom and next to. Students work on their expressive language skills through communication interaction, both verbally and non-verbally. Verbal communicators use words, phrases, and sentences to communicate with peers and staff. Also, they are working to improve their skills to initiate, respond and request information, using correct grammatical structures and longer sentence lengths. Non-verbal communicators use picture symbols, communication books, assistive technology, gestures/signs, facial expressions and body language to express and interact with others.