Sarah Dyer is a certified Speech-language Pathologist who currently works at Plymouth Center School, Eli Terry Middle School, and Terryville High School. She can be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Plymouth Center School at 860-283-6321.
Alysa Oling is a certified Speech-language Pathologist who works at Fisher Elementary School. She can be contacted through email at email@example.com or by calling Fisher Elementary School at 860-314-2770.
Catherine Donnelly is a clinical fellow of Speech-language Pathology who currently works at Fisher Elementary School and Eli Terry Middle School. She can be contacted through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Fisher Elementary School at 860-314-2770.
What types of speech and language disorders affect school-age children?
Children may experience one or more of the following disorders:
Language disorders - (difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words)
Cognitive-communication disorders - (difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination)
Stuttering (fluency) disorders - (interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words)
Voice disorders - (quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft)
Do speech-language disorders affect learning?
Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Language is the basis of communication. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school.
How may a speech-language disorder affect school performance?
Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform at grade level. They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests.
Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn.
How do parents and school personnel work together to insure that children get the speech-language support they need?
Parents and teachers should refer any student who shows signs of a speech-language disorder or delay to the school-based child study team. Screening, assessment, and treatment of communication problems may involve cooperative efforts with:
speech-language pathologists (SLPs),
special education teachers,
SLPs work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students. Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students' speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.
How Parents Can Enhance Language Development During the Elementary Years
Teach and Practice Conversation Skills
Children learn the pragmatics of language from the give and take of conversations at school and home. Family dinners, bedtime, and car time are perfect opportunities to practice conversation skills. The way you respond to your child encourages, or discourages, her from communicating with you. Take some time each day to listen to your child talk about her interests and opinions.
Continue to Read Aloud
Elementary school teachers will tell you - even sixth graders love to be read to. Also, encourage independent reading with frequent visits to the library and bookstore. My mother and sister read to their 5th and 6th grade students all of the time. Their favorites - all Patricia Polacco books and, for older kids, Hatchet.
Teach Your Child the Names for Advanced Concepts
Emotional intelligence develops when children learn to name their feelings. Parents teach values such as respect, responsibility, and fairness when they point out examples of each in the child's life experiences and the media. Our school's character education program involves a "word of the month". The children are rewarded for exhibiting that month's characteristic.
Play Family Games
Family games provide the perfect atmosphere for relaxed conversation while building all kinds of useful skills. Take a stroll down the board games aisle at your favorite store and pick up a new game to play this weekend. Some ideas - Outburst, Scrabble, Upwords, Boggle, Scatterwords, Pictionary, and Taboo.
Expand Vocabulary with Computer Learning Tools
Kids love to play games on the computer, and they can learn valuable language skills while they play. Software programs such as the Living Booksseries, and many others, teach language skills while they entertain. Web sites such as WordCentral.comcan be put in the child's link list alongside his favorite game sites. Find more fun language-building games at this link page.
Explore New Experiences with Your Child
Travel, museums, hobbies, any new experience that broadens your child's awareness of the world beyond her home and neighborhood, will enhance her language development. The Internet has given families a quantum leap in opportunities to explore the world from our living rooms. Share your passions and interests and indulge your curiosity about the world with your children.