What do our district Speech-Language Specialists Do?

Speech-language specialists work with children-preschool through grade 8-to evaluate speaking, listening and comprehension skills in order to determine if their ability to communicate is typical, delayed or disordered.  If there is a communication problem, speech-language specialists will develop and implement Individual Education Programs (IEPs) based on each child's needs.

What areas do Speech-Language Specialists Evaluate?

1.  Articulation/Phonology
Are children difficult to understand when compared to other children their age?
They may:
  • substitute certain sounds for others
  • omit, distort or add sounds
  • sound unclear or be difficult to understand

2.  Fluency
Do children have difficulty speaking with ease?
They may:

  • avoid talking
  • seem tense when speaking
  • speak too quickly or slowly
  • hesitate, prolong or repeat sounds, syllables, words, or phrases
  • make inappropriate facial expressions or gestures when speaking

3.  Voice
Are children's voices appropriate for their age, gender, or stature? 
They may:
  • speak in too high or low a pitch
  • speak too loudly or softly
  • sound as if they always have a cold
  • sound nasal
  • often have a hoarse or harsh voice
  • run out of air when speaking
  • frequently have no voice

4.  Language
Do children have the signs of a language disorder? 
They may:
  • have trouble putting thoughts into words or understanding others
  • have trouble following directions, answering questions, solving problems
  • misuse grammar
  • speak in poorly constructed sentences
  • have limited vocabulary
  • find it hard to describe objects or events
  • have illogical or disorganized thoughts
  • have trouble with humor, inferences, idioms and multiple meaning words
  • have literacy limitations

Please note that according to N.J.A.C. 6A:14, a referral for a student for whom a language disability is suspected must be forwarded to the child study team.  If it is determined at the identification meeting that an evaluation is warranted, the student must be evaluated by a minimum of two child study team members, and other specialists as deemed necessary, in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.4(d).



Information provided by New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the New Jersey Department of Education



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