• Speech and Language Department

    Speech and language services are provided for students with an identified impairment in one or more of the following areas: articulation, voice, fluency and or language delay/disorder, which adversely affects their educational performance. Learn more about articulation and language developmental milestones at www.speechcenter.pbworks.com 
    Services for students in need of speech/language support are available at each school. Additionally, the following programs are available:
    Itinerant Speech and Language Services (EC)
    The Itinerant Speech Program is designed for preschool-aged children who are in need of speech/language support. Children with mild to moderate speech and/or language disorders receive services from a speech /language pathologist typically between 20-40 minutes per week either individually or in small groups (2-3) depending on the child's specific needs. This service is provided at Madison Elementary School in Wheaton. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for their child.
    Phonology Class (EC)
    The phonology class is designed for children whose speech difficulty is due to a phonological disorder. In order to be eligible for this class, the student’s development in all other areas must be within normal limits. In this program, a small group of students (maximum of 10) attend a class with a speech pathologist for 2½ hours, 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) on a "7-weeks- on 7-weeks-off” schedule. This program is located at Madison Elementary School in Wheaton. Parents are responsible for providing transportation for their child.
    Roles and responsibilities of Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) 
    • Working Across All Levels: SLPs provide appropriate speech-language services to students in preschool, elementary, middle, high schools and district transition programs.
    • Serving a Range of Disorders: As delineated in the American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA) Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology and federal regulations, SLPs work with students exhibiting the full range of communication disorders, including those involving receptive and/or expressive language, articulation (speech sound disorders), fluency, voice/resonance, and swallowing.
    • Ensuring Educational Relevance: SLPs address personal, social/emotional, academic, and vocational needs that have an impact on attainment of educational goals. 
    • Providing Unique Contributions to Curriculum: SLPs provide a distinct set of roles based on their focused expertise in language. They offer assistance in addressing the linguistic and metalinguistic foundations of curriculum learning for students with disabilities, as well as other learners who are at risk for school failure, or those who struggle in school settings.
    • Highlighting Language/Literacy: Current research supports the interrelationships across the language processes of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. SLPs contribute significantly to the literacy achievement of students with communication disorders, as well as other learners who are at risk for school failure, or those who struggle in school settings.
    • Providing Culturally Competent Services: With the ever-increasing diversity in the schools, SLPs make important contributions to ensure that all students receive quality, culturally competent services. SLPs have the expertise to distinguish a language disorder from “something else.” That “something else” might include cultural and linguistic differences, socioeconomic factors, lack of adequate prior instruction, and the process of acquiring the dialect of English used in the schools. This expertise leads to more accurate and appropriate identification of student needs. SLPs can also address the impact of language differences and second language acquisition on student learning and provide assistance to teachers in promoting educational growth.
    • Prevention: SLPs are integrally involved in the efforts of schools to prevent academic failure in whatever form those initiatives may take; for example, in Response to Intervention (RTI). SLPs use evidence-based practice (EBP) in prevention approaches.
    • Assessment: SLPs conduct assessments in collaboration with others that help to identify students with communication disorders as well as to inform instruction and intervention, consistent with EBP.
    • Intervention: SLPs provide intervention that is appropriate to the age and learning needs of each individual student and is selected through an evidence-based decision-making process.
    • Program Design: SLPs configure schoolwide programs that employ a continuum of service delivery models in the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities, and that they provide services to other students as appropriate.
    • Data Collection and Analysis: SLPs, like all educators, are accountable for student outcomes. Therefore, data-based decision making, including gathering and interpreting data with individual students, as well as overall program evaluation are essential responsibilities.
    • Collaboration with Other School Professionals: SLPs provide services to support the instructional program at a school. Therefore, SLPs' unique contributions complement and augment those made by other professionals who also have unique perspectives and skills. Working collegially with general education teachers who are primarily responsible for curriculum and instruction is essential. SLPs also work closely with reading specialists, literacy coaches, special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, audiologists, guidance counselors, and social workers, in addition to others. Working with school and district administrators in designing and implementing programs is crucial.
    • Collaboration within the Community: SLPs work with a variety of individuals and agencies (e.g., physicians, private therapy practitioners, social service agencies, private schools, and vocational rehabilitation) who may be involved in teaching or providing services to district students.
    • Collaboration with Families: SLPs engage families in planning, decision making, and program implementation. SLPs are in a position to provide training to parents of students of all ages with regard to communication development and disorders. They may be especially helpful to families in creating a language- and literacy-rich home environment.
    • Supervision and Mentorship: SLPs are involved with supervising student SLPs and clinical fellows, as well as in mentoring new SLPs. They also may assist in training and supervising teacher assistants.
    To find your speech language therapist, contact your child's school or visit the individual school's website.
    Have questions about what it means for a student to receive speech-language services in the schools? Try this parents' guide to speech language disorders: https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/parents-guide-to-speech-and-language-development/