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Hi. My name is Stacey Zangle. I have been providing speech/language support to students in K-12 grades in all buildings since August 2004. Before I came to Camp Hill, I planned for and serviced students in a K-6 building with multiple handicaps and severe communicative disorders along with traditional articulation and language therapy for 3 years. I'd like to provide a definition of the role of the speech/language therapist.
Speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent disorders related to speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, and fluency.
Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot produce speech sounds or cannot produce them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; people with voice disorders, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders. They also work with people who have swallowing difficulties.
Speech-language pathologists develop an individualized education plan, tailored to each student's needs. For individuals with little or no speech capability, speech-language pathologists may select augmentative or alternative communication methods, including automated devices and sign language, and teach their use. They teach patients how to make sounds, improve their voices, or increase their oral or written language skills to communicate more effectively. They also teach individuals how to strengthen muscles. Speech-language pathologists help students develop, or recover, reliable communication and swallowing skills so students can fulfill their educational, vocational, and social roles.
Speech-language pathologists keep records on the initial evaluation, progress, and discharge of students. This helps pinpoint problems, tracks student progress, and justifies the exit criteria when the student attains all goals. They work with family members to recognize and change behavior patterns that impede communication and treatment and show them communication-enhancing techniques to use at home through meetings and carry over assignments.
Speech-language pathologists in schools collaborate with teachers, special educators, interpreters, other school personnel, and parents to develop and implement individual or group programs, provide counseling, and support classroom activities. Social communication is also enhanced in the student's natural environment during lunch group therapy. This allows for natural conversation to occur in a safe and comfortable setting with peers of similar needs along with a student who exhibits age appropriate social language skills as a model.
I hope this information is helpful. Please utilize the resource links and websites that are fun, free, and easy to use to work on your child's speech skills together.