Speech Language Services

Speech/Language services are more commonly known as Speech Therapy.  Children who receive speech/language services in the public school must qualify for these services under the guidelines set forth by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and federal regulations as well as the Wyoming Department of Education Chapter 7 Rules and Regulations.

Speech/Language Pathologists deliver services in four areas of need.  These include:

Articulation – speech sound production or phonological errors atypical of a child of comparable age and development.

Language –a deficiency in language comprehension or production evident in the content, form or use of oral communication or its equivalent.

Stuttering - an abnormal flow of speech evident in interruptions by hesitations, repetitious or prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases or articulary position or by avoidance and struggle behaviors.

Voice – a significant deviation in pitch, intensity or quality, which significantly interferes with communication for an extended period of time and is atypical for a child of comparable age and development.  Voice referrals are accompanied by a physicians statement.



To assist your child with language, the following suggestions are made:

Attention & Following Directions
1.  Gain your child’s attention prior to giving instructions.  If oral directions are given, have the child paraphrase them back aloud.  If written directions are given, have the child describe in his/her own words what is expected to do for any given problem/situation.
2.  Shorten or chunk activities into smaller steps so that completion of each individual step is easily achieved.  Simply administering a lesson, noting the beginning point and jumping right to the final product may seem overwhelming for the child.

Attributes/Similarities/Differences/Critical Features
1.  Play games (either store bought or home made) that involve placing items in a bag.  The child must reach into the bag, feel an object and describe it based on how it feels.  
2.  When having the child help with household chores and activities, make a game out of the activity.  For example, Have the child retrieve items for you based on your description.  “Child, please get me the object that we use to fix your hair.  It has a handle, bristles, and is red.”
3.  Play guessing games with the child.  Good games would be “I Spy With My Little Eye,” “Guess Who?” and “Go Fish” with picture cards.
4.  Play a riddle game where you describe an object and have the child guess (I’m thinking of something that is round has numbers and tells the time). Take turns and have the child describe an object.
5.  Have the child identify categories during a meal (name meats, vegetables, etc.)

Reading/ Listening Comprehension &/or Sequencing
1.  At home and school, read aloud to the child daily.  Discuss the book title and artwork, take turns predicting what the story may be about.  Read the story, making sure to pause often to discuss the artwork and plot. Model think-alouds” for the child.  For example, when reading The Three Little Pigs, the adult might pause and say “I wonder why those silly pigs aren’t listening to what their mother told them?  The mother pig said to work hard, build good strong homes and watch out for the Big Bad Wolf.  That little pig just built a house out of straw!  I don’t think that was a good choice.  What do you think a better choice for a home might be?”  Modeling “think-alouds” for children teaches them to evaluate and analyze what the story is telling them; think-alouds teach inferential reasoning and problem solving skills.
2.  When reading, stop often to discuss what has happened in the story “so far” and to predict what might happen next, based on “what you know.”  The ability to accurately predict upcoming events reveals overall story comprehension, and illustrates whether or not a child truly understands what is happening in a story.  These skills correlate to an ability to understand what is read and discussed in class.
3.  Encourage the child to narrate stories to unfamiliar listeners, bearing in mind correct sequencing and story elements.  Experience narrating stories (or television shows or movies) improves expressive language skills, word retrieval skills and increases student awareness of listener needs.  In other words, the child may participate more appropriately in classroom conversations, and become better at giving complete answers to classroom questions, rather than partial answers or answers with non-specific vocabulary, from having experience narrating stories.
4.  Encourage the student to read for enjoyment daily.  Reading for enjoyment means selecting a book that the child can easily read independently.  Reading daily will improve his/her overall reading fluency and comprehension.
5.  Talk about stories, TV shows, experiences using first…this happened…then…..this happened, etc.  And question what the problem was and how it was solved.  Was there indeed a problem? How was the problem solved?  How would you solve the problem?

Vocabulary Development
1.  Encourage the child to read for enjoyment daily.  Reading for enjoyment means selecting a book that the child can easily read independently. Reading daily will improve the child’s overall vocabulary.  
2.  Encourage the child to listen to books on tape.  Listening to books on tape also provides a means of expanding vocabulary.
3.  Preteach content vocabulary; refer to learned vocabulary often.
4.  Present curriculum vocabulary through multi-modalities.  Present the actual item; act out the word’s meaning, present antonyms or synonyms for the word –do whatever it takes for the child to gain comprehension regarding what a word means.
5.  Target vocabulary that is pertinent and useful to the child.
6.  Encourage the child to seek help (ask an adult, look in a dictionary/glossary) when he/she does not know what a word 



Here are some suggestions to help the child who stutters.

1.  Treat the child who stutters like all other children.
2.  Do not hurry the child’s speech.
3.  Do not finish words or sentences for him/her.
4.  Do not interrupt.
5.  Do not correct pronunciations.
6.  Do not keep the child from talking.
7.  Be patient and pay attention to what the child says, not how he/she says it.  Respond to the message.
8.  Talk in a calmer, slower and more relaxed way.
9.  Pause about two or three second after the child finishes speaking before responding.
10.  Ask fewer questions.  When questions are asked, ask one at a time and give the child ample time to answer.
11.  Do not draw attention to the stuttering moment.

Circumstances That May Increase Stuttering
Communicative Stress

The Way Parents and Others Talk with the Child
1.  Rapid speech rates and fast-paced conversation
2.  Interrupting the child
3.  Guessing what the child is about to say
4.  Beginning to speak immediately when the child pauses or stops talking
5.  Bombarding the child with many questions
6.  Competing to get into a conversation

Interpersonal Stress

The way family members relate to each other

1. Unrealistic demands on the child

2. Conflict about discipline

3. Hectic or inconsistent family routine

4. Fast-paced family life

5. Experiences that make the child feel put down