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  • Speech Language Program

    Speech Language Program

    Contact us

    India Parson
    Dana Trussell
    Heather Kafele

    Instructional Specialists

    John Carroll Center
    1400 Nalley Terrace
    Landover, MD 20785
    240-696-3210

    About the program

    The Speech Language Program in Prince Georges County Public Schools is designed to meet the needs of each student in developing their competence in communication skills. A communication disability may interfere with one or all of the following elements of the educational process: academic achievement, frustration in speaking situations, social interactions, task completion, or intelligibility. The program provides speech and language services to children in Infant Toddler Programs (birth to three) programs, in Preschool Programs (three and four year olds) Regular and in and Special Education Programs (Kindergarten-12th Grade). 

    The Speech Language Program Goals are to:

    • Improve comprehension and speaking skills;
    • Demonstrate ways to encourage the development of appropriate speech and language skills;
    • Foster improved academic and interpersonal performance;
    • Increase staff awareness of speech language development and skills;
    • Involve parents and all stakeholders in the appropriate development of communication skills for student.

    Speech Language services in schools are guided by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).  IDEA provides for Speech Language services for school-age children with communication disorders that adversely affect a child’s educational performance.  Services are provided to students from birth through age 21 whose educational performance is adversely impacted in any of the following areas:

    Articulation:  non-developmental errors in speech sound productions

    Fluency:  deviant patterns or abnormal rate

    Voice:  abnormal pitch, quality, or volume; is required in consultation with a
                 physician

    Language:  delayed receptive and/or expressive language development 
                  which may include problems related to speaking, reading, thinking
                  and writing.

    Frequently asked questions

    What is speech?

    Speech is the process of processing audible sounds using the articulators (i.e. tongue, teeth, lips).

    What does it mean when a student has a speech delay or disorder?

    Generally speaking, it means that the student:

    • Does not say all of his/her words/sounds clearly or that he/she is intelligible;
    • Stutters (disfluency);
    • Speaks too rapidly or clutters his/her words;
    • Exhibits a voice disorder (e.g. hoarse or hyper/hypo-nasality).

    What is language?

    Language involves three (3) distinct areas:  receptive language (understanding), expressive language (grammar/syntax, semantics/vocabulary); and pragmatics (use of language in social contexts).

    What does it mean when a student has a language delay or disorder?

    Generally speaking, it means that the student has difficulty:

    • Understanding language (reception) – e.g. not able to follow directions;
    • Using language appropriately (expression) - e.g. limited vocabulary, incorrect syntax;
    • Using language to communicate in social contexts (e.g. inability to express feelings, initiate a conversation, maintain a topic;

    However, it must be noted that just because a student has weaknesses in language function doesn’t mean he/she should be referred for speech/language services. There must be an adverse educational impact, which will determine whether an impairment is also a disability.

    When is it appropriate to refer a child for speech and/or language services? 

    When a student is suspected of having a disorder that significantly impacts his/her academic progress or when the student is unintelligible because of poor articulation or dysfluency.

    When is a student found eligible for speech and/or language services?  

    Generally, a student is found eligible to receive speech and/or language services when it is determined that a significant delay/disorder impacts his/her academic performance, or for young children, impacts his/her participation in age appropriate activities.

    NOTE:  A student may exhibit a speech delay/disorder and may not be eligible for services.  For example:  

    • A five year old who may be unable to produce the /r/ sound would not be considered eligible to receive services because the sound is often not developed in children until the age of 7 or 8.
    • A student may have a mild dysfluency problem that does not significantly impact his/her communication skills or academics.

    What services are provided?                                                

    The Speech Language Program provides a continuum of comprehensive instructional and consultative services for students ranging from those with severe communicative problems to those who need to learn to communicate appropriately in the regular education classroom.

    Services are provided so that students may access, participate and progress in developmentally appropriate activities in the general education curriculum. The Speech and Language Pathologist involves parents, teachers and other professionals associated with the student to stimulate and improve the student’s communication skills. Speech Language Pathologists can provide support to educators, school teams, parents and other staff members on matters related to speech and language.

    Where are services provided?

    Services are provided to students in Infant Toddler Programs in home, school and community settings as determined by their Individualized Family Service Plan. Services for school age students are provided in their educational setting as determined by the students Individualized Education Program.

    Services are provided in:

    • Early Intervention settings (birth to three)
    • Preschool Programs (three to five)
    • Academic settings for (five through 21)

    Who are Speech and Language Pathologists?

    Speech and Language Pathologists are professionals who help students make functional and measurable changes in their communicative abilities so that they are able to participate as fully and as independently as possible in educational, social, and vocational aspects of life.

    Speech and Language Pathologists  who work in the schools are responsible for providing a wide variety of services through the Special Education process  This process involves handling  referrals, facilitating informed parent involvement, completing assessments, providing evaluation review and interpretation, assisting with refinements of initial impressions and  providing guidance  and direction for remedial instruction and intervention.

    Speech and Language Pathologists are professionals trained to screen, identify, assess, diagnose, counsel and offer remediation of speech and language disorders.  Services include but are not limited to evaluations, re-evaluations, observations, program planning, and remediation.

    Resources

    American Speech-Language and Hearing Association