What services are available for my child?
The school based SLP provides a wide range of support to students experiencing speech, language and communication difficulties within the school setting. Services may include:
- participating on school support teams:
- to provide program suggestions and strategies
- to determine the need for referral to the school-based SLP
- to facilitate referrals to other professionals
- educating and helping parents to develop their child’s communication skills at home and in the community
- attending Identification Placement Review Committee (IPRC) meetings, case conferences, transition and connections meetings
- An assessment may include a evaluation of your child’s speech production, language skills, literacy skills, voice and fluency.
The assessment process involves:
- gathering background information from Ontario Student Record, interviews with teachers, parents and other professionals involved with the student, in addition to informal and formal testing procedures
- observing of the student in the school setting when appropriate
- reviewing with teacher the results of assessment and how the student’s oral language and communication skills are impacting on the student’s academic success and well being
- administering formal and informal tests relating to listening, speaking, reading and writing
- developing recommendations and programming suggestions
- presenting results to Identification, Placement and Review Committees (IPRC’s) where appropriate
- working collaboratively with teachers to modify the language of instruction in the classroom based on the knowledge of how oral language, literacy, behaviour and social skills are interrelated
- supporting teachers in developing language and social communication strategies for Individual Education Plans for student’s with speech, language or communication difficulties
- selecting, demonstrating and determining effectiveness of special technology that may be beneficial and allow the student to access the curriculum; this may be facilitated through consultation with the boardwide consultants or through referral and consultation with outside agencies
- working with teachers in classroom to model specific oral language and communication facilitation strategies
- partnering with kindergarten teachers and early childhood educators to deliver language and communication intervention strategies in a play-based setting
- providing short-term intervention for individual or groups of students
Support to Full Day Kindergarten (FDK)
Full day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds is currently being phased in to all schools in Dufferin-Peel. Children in full day kindergarten develop social, emotional and communication skills through play-based learning. This program is designed to promote interaction with their peers and teachers who guide them.
Speech-Language Pathologists support the full day kindergarten program by:
- sharing their knowledge of typical child growth and development, particularly in the areas of oral language (such as vocabulary, conversation and storytelling), literacy (including phonological awareness) and play
- participating on an interdisciplinary support services team
- assisting with program planning for children who have special needs in the area of communication
- assisting with referrals in the community if appropriate
- liaising with Preschool Speech and Language Services and community-based service providers (eg. hearing health care providers, child development clinics, agencies providing specialized augmentative communication services, etc.)
- referring to and liaising with Community Care Access Centres/School Health Support Services (CCAC/SHSS) for those students with articulation, stuttering, and/or voice difficulties
How can I obtain these services?
If you have concerns regarding your child’s speech, language or communication skills, you can speak to your child’s classroom teacher or school principal and ask that your child be referred to the school speech-language pathologist.
If the school has concerns regarding your child’s speech, language or communication skills school personnel will speak to you and ask your permission to have your child referred to the school speech-language pathologist.
Written permission is required from the parent or legal guardian before the speech-language pathologist can become involved with your child.
What is involved in the Speech-Language Assessment?
The reasons for the assessment are explained to the parent or legal guardian and written permission to proceed is obtained.
Once your permission is received, information is gathered from many sources, some of which may include:
- discussions with teachers, parents and special services staff
- information from other professionals outside of the school board who the family feels will have relevant information is obtained with written parental permission
- observation of the student in the classroom with their peers
- discussion with the student regarding areas of strengths and difficulties when appropriate
- formal and informal testing related to listening, speaking, reading and writing