Aug 01, 2019

10 Things You Need to Know about Speech Therapy in SchoolsA student and speech-language pathologist working together.

At any given time, 3,200-4,200 students in our seven county area are receiving speech-language support services through Grant Wood AEA.

Speech-language pathologists work with parents and educators to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, and other disorders in young people, and most of those young people assisted through our program are under the age of 8.

  1. Sometimes speech therapy sessions are best provided in the classroom setting, and sometimes it’s best to provide services outside of the classroom setting. Services are designed to meet the needs of students. Every student is different, therefore, there are different ways to provide direct therapy and instruction. Sometimes students need lessons and activities to be taught in a natural setting (such as a classroom), and sometimes students require a quieter, less distracting setting. 
  2. More time spent with the speech therapist doesn’t always equal more progress made. Skills should be taught across environments, across communication partners (parents, teachers, siblings, etc.), and in natural learning opportunities.  
  3. In addition, speech therapists aren’t always the change agent in student success. Teachers and parents are just as important to help make successful changes in a student’s progress.
  4. Speech-language pathologists provide intervention for more than just articulation sounds. They have training in the areas of articulation and phonology (speech sounds), expressive and receptive language, voice, pragmatic skills (social skills), fluency (stuttering), literacy development, and feeding and swallowing. Services and supports in these areas might look a little different in the school setting versus a medical or clinic setting due to following educational policies. However, our speech-language pathologists have the same training and educational background as non-school based speech therapists.
  5. Practicing speech and language skills at home is crucial for student progress. Skills need to be practiced across settings and environments. Students need carry-over opportunities in order to generalize skills outside school or outside the speech therapy room.
  6. Speech and language skills are often taught through play, games, and other interactive ways to get students excited about learning. Sometimes the best way to teach speech and language skills is through the use of a board game or iPad app. Other times, it might be best to teach skills during a reading activity or lesson, or during a social situation like snack time or recess. It’s not all worksheets and flashcards. :)
  7. Speech-language pathologists are always looking for new and invigorating ways to help students succeed in the classroom setting. Whether through attending professional development trainings, a new toy/game to teach through play, or by finding new ways for successful student communication to occur.  
  8. Staff enjoy collaborating with parents, outside therapy providers, doctors, etc. to work toward a common goal for all students. 
  9. Good communication skills lead to successful social skills, reading skills, writing skills, processing skills, and overall learning. Grant Wood AEA speech-language pathologists will do everything to help families and teachers have successful communicators in their classrooms!


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