What is speech?
Speech is the mechanical part of talking. It includes things such as articulation (producing speech sounds) and fluency (stuttering). Typically, if you are having a hard time understanding your students or are noticing errors with the productions of certain speech sounds (such as r, l or s), there is a good chance the student is demonstrating an articulation error. Persistant errors can have a great impact on our students reading and witing skills and therefore, it is imperative that concerns be brought to me. Stuttering is a progressive disorder that can have a severe impact on our student's communication skills, social skills, self-esteem and classroom participation. Interventions are completed in the area of articulation but they are strongly not recommended for fluency concerns.
What is language?
Language is almost anything else that goes into talking. It includes receptive language (how well language is understood) and expressive language (how well language is used). There are 5 major areas of language including: phonology (study of sounds- HUGE for developing strong literacy skills), semantics (study of meaning), morphology (study of units of sounds that can change the word meaning), syntax (study of how words are put together to create sentences and pragmatics (study of how to use language) If you have concerns that a student is not using enough language or understanding directions, tasks, texts, please talk to me. We will begin with interventions that you can use in the classroom and I have some ideas that might help you.
Students can also qualify for speech and language services in the area of voice disorders, which involves the quality of their voice.
Qualification Criteria for Speech and Language
How do I know if I should be concerned?
The students in your classroom are a wonderful resource. Looking at how a student is functioning in comparison to his or her peers can be very valuable. The link below provides more information about typical language development.
American Speech-Language Hearing Association
Another resource is the St. Paul Public Schools Special Education site.
SPPS Special Education Website
Any time you have a concern about delayed communication patterns, please contact me as I will happily guide us in the right direction to best support our students!