Speech Language Pathology

Download the SPEECH-LANGUAGE FAQ & REFERRAL CONSENT FORM for Support Services (PDF)

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A SPEECH-LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT?

A Speech-Language (S/L) Assessment cannot take place without the consent of a parent/guardian or without the appropriate steps have been taken (see above). Once the referral process has been completed an SLP will meet with the child outside of his or her classroom. A full S/L Assessment can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (on average) depending on the child. There are several components of a speech/language assessment including:

  • Parent Interview and/or family history form
  • Teacher interview and/or classroom performance checklist
  • Classroom observation
  • Language sample (a sample of the content of the child’s language during conversation)
  • Formal and/or informal tests to assess any combination of the following (as needed) speech sounds production, phonological awareness skills, receptive language, expressive language, memory, reading, problem solving skills, social skills, voice production, disfluency (stuttering), oral-peripheral exam (how the lips, tongue, teeth, breathing work together and their appearance), motor speech, social skills.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SPEECH-LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT?

After a speech-language assessment is completed the SLP has up to 1 month to complete the report. A copy of the report is given to the Resource Teacher and the Parent(s)/Guardian. When the SLP is in the community again, she will meet with the Resource Teacher and the Parent(s)/Guardian to review the report and to answer any questions.

Next the SLP will meet with the person who will be working with the student (SLEA or EA). The SLP will review the therapy plan with the SLEA/EA and will demonstrate how to carry out the tasks with the child.

*If your school does not have a supervising SLP (one that visits your school several times during a school year) a speech and/or language program cannot be implemented according to the guidelines/standards of our provincial association (Manitoba Speech and Hearing Association, MSHA).

WHAT STUDENTS ARE SEEN BY AN SLP?

Any student that has been shown to have a delay or impairment in speech, language, reading/spelling (is below average), voice problems, Down Syndrome, ARND, etc… can receive speech-language therapy. Basically, any student whose delay in speech and language is affecting his or her school work is eligible. Each school is permitted to have 10 students on the speech-language caseload, which means that the students will have to be prioritized. The most severe students will receive therapy by the MFNERC SLP. Usually the way students are prioritized are based on the scores of formal tests given by the SLP, however these tests were not made for First Nations students and therefore results are not valid. It will be through the collaboration of your school’s SLP and Resource Teacher that the students are prioritized. If the school has money in their budget to do so another SLP may be contracted out to work with other students.

IF A STUDENT IS RECEIVING SPEECH-LANGUAGE THERAPY DOES IT AFFECT HIS/HER LEARNING IN THE CLASSROOM?

If a student is required to participate in therapy sessions outside of the classroom (pull-out therapy) every effort is made not to take the student out of classes that he or she either enjoys or one that is important to his or her academic career. Sometimes, the type of therapy that a student requires will be in-class, which would mean that the SLP or SLEA would be in the classroom with the student during class. The duty of the SLP or SLEA will then be to implement strategies to enable the student to get the most out of what is being taught in the classroom. For example, if the child has difficulties following directions, the SLP or SLEA may repeat directions, break down the directions into smaller chunks of information, or give the student a visual cue as to what he or she is supposed to do. Classroom strategies will also be shared with the teacher and/or EA so that therapy is balanced between pull out and in-class.

IF A STUDENT IS RECEIVING SPEECH-LANGUAGE THERAPY WILL HE OR SHE BE LABELED?

If a student is receiving speech-language therapy every attempt is to make it as fun as possible and not to take him or her away from her regular activities at school. Students are given incentives to participate in therapy (stickers etc…) and are rewarded as such. Any diagnosis or “label” will be kept confidential from the general school population. Only a select few who are directly involved with the student will know this—only with the parents’ consent.

HOW DOES AN SLP HELP MY SCHOOL IF THEY ARE NOT THERE?

The method in which an SLP will work with your school is through consultation and collaboration with educators. Although the SLP is not at the school on a full time basis, ideally she will visit the school 4 times in one school year. During a visit the SLP will meet with the Resource Teacher, SLEA, and teachers of those students who are on the speech and language caseload. In addition the SLP may do assessments, classroom observations and workshops to educators and or parents. Between visits the SLP will be available to talk with via telephone or email and will expect to do regular weekly phone consultations with the SLEA who is working with the students. The SLP is the only one who is able to modify the speech and language program as the student improves so she must be in contact with the school frequently.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT THE SLP/SLEA DOES WITH MY CHILD AT SCHOOL? IS THERE A LIST OF TASKS THAT GET DONE EVERY TIME THE SLP/SLEA VISITS MY CHILD?

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to be as involved as they can with respect to what their child(ren) are working on at school in terms of speech-language therapy. A list of goals that will be targeted will typically be included on the report that you receive. In addition, progress reports will typically outline what has been done. There are typically at least 2 goals that are targeted each time your child is in a therapy session. Depending on the child’s attention span and cooperation, these tasks will get completed each session.

HOW OFTEN IS A CHILD SEEN BY AN SLP?

Usually, the more severe the disorder, the more often we recommend that he/she receives therapy, but generally, how often a student is seen by an SLP or SLEA is determined by the following:

  • the severity of their disorder
  • the availability of an SLEA
  • the availability of the SLP (the SLP must supervise a percentage of time that the SLEA is with the student)
  • the availability of technology (e.g. Elluminate, Skype, video conferencing equipment)

WILL SOMEONE GO THROUGH THE ASSESSMENT REPORT WITH ME SO I CAN SEE WHAT MY CHILD’S/ STUDENT’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ARE?

Yes. Once a speech-language assessment report or progress report has been completed, the parent(s)/guardian(s) will receive a copy. An appointment will then be scheduled for you to meet with the SLP the next time she is in your community. She will review the report with you and answer any questions that you have.

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