I am one of two Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) providing speech and language therapy to students at Smoky Row Elementary School. I work primarily with the preschool aged students receiving special services in the Early Childhood program.
An SLP is a professional trained to evaluate and treat communication disorders in people of all ages. In the public school setting an SLP works with students at all grade levels who demonstrate difficulty with communication skills which impact their classroom participation and academic achievement.
Communication skills include:
· Receptive language (how children understand or process language)
· Expressive language (how children use vocabulary and put words together)
· Speech Sound Production (how the actual sounds are produced that make up words)
Articulation/Phonology (sounds produced to make up words)
Apraxia/Dysarthria (motor speech skills)
· Fluency (stuttering)
· Social/Pragmatic skills (use of communication in socially appropriate manner)
· Voice and Resonance (volume, pitch, quality of the voice)
Speech Language Pathologist also assess and remediate swallowing (in the medical setting) and feeding disorders (if impacting school participation).
SLPs treat a wide range of abilities from mild to severe or profound delays. A few examples include:
· children who cannot produced an /s/ or /r/ sound (or other speech sounds)
· children who cannot produce speech and use an electronic device to communicate
· children who have difficulty answering and asking questions
· children who have difficulty understanding directions
· children with severe cognitive impairments
· children with a stuttering disorder