How does a Student begin to receive School-based Speech and Language Therapy?
Each school has a Child Study Team (CST). This team is made up of the Principal, the School Psychologist, the Speech/Language Pathologist, the Reading Specialist, the School Counselor, Special Education Teachers, Regular Education Teachers and other members when deemed appropriate. This team meets weekly to discuss students who may be having difficulty accessing the curriculum in the classroom. Strategies are discussed for the teacher to try in the classroom and data is collected.
Sometimes, a Speech/Language screening is recommended. From that screening, your child may be referred for a complete Speech and Language Evaluation and you will be contacted to discuss the procedure and to request your permission. The goal of the evaluation is to determine your child's strengths and weaknesses in the area of Communication and to determine if they are eligible and in need of specially designed instruction in the area of Speech and Language. For a student to be eligible for Speech and Language Therapy, there are two prongs that must to be met. The first prong is that your child has a Speech and or Language disability and the second prong is that the disability impacts your child's ability to access the curriculum in the classroom.
We are looking at five areas:
Articulation- how they make the sounds
Receptive Language-the understanding of language
Expressive Language-the ability to express themselves
Voice-the vocal quality of the voice