Speech-Language Therapy Services in the Early Childhood Classroom
Speech-language therapy is provided in a variety of ways to the children in the early childhood classroom. Each student's speech and language goals are met through the following 3 formats. Every child’s individual needs are taken into consideration when providing therapy.
I. A language group activity is provided to the entire classroom. This group activity may consist of a story with props, role playing, or a game to facilitate learning with each child involved. The group activity may center on vocabulary or concept words, listening skills, comprehending directions, making associations, or any number of language skills targeted to benefit all of the children and each of their needs. Individual needs and goals are addressed and incorporated in all group activities.
II. Speech therapy is also integrated into classroom activities, particularly at snack time, circle time, at centers or on the playground. These activities allow facilitation of speech and language learning during functional and meaningful communication interactions (the best setting for learning speech and language skills) and motivation to communicate is built right into the activity!
III. The third method for providing speech therapy is called pull out therapy. Children are seen individually or in small groups to work on communication goals. We may play a game while completing speech work, use toys to work directly on goals, share an interactive story with a child imitating models, or address goals through experience-based activities.
Speech Language Pathologist are involved with various components of the literacy curriculum used in the EC program. All three methods (language group, integrated, pullout) allow for collaboration with the classroom teacher. Integrated therapy and classroom language group activities are the best methods for collaboration and consultation with the teachers and instructional aides as natural communication interactions arise within the group that allow for the speech-language pathologist to facilitate improved interaction with both adults and peers.