SPEECH & LANGUAGE
Language skills are the foundation for academic growth and success and they impact a child’s social interactions as well. Language difficulties can affect a child’s ability to acquire reading skills, express his or her knowledge in the classroom, participate in class discussions, follow directions, remember curricular material, as well as interact with peers and adults. A child may be challenged in the area of expressive language (i.e. what the child can express), receptive language (i.e. what the child understands), auditory processing and memory (i.e. the ability to listen to, remember, and use oral information), social pragmatics (i.e. social skills), and/or speech articulation and fluency.
At Radcliffe Creek School, students receive the speech-language support they need to foster academic success. Screenings, evaluations, and treatment are provided by certified speech-language pathologists employed full time at the School. Speech-language intervention services are provided based on the child’s needs, ranging from support in the classroom through consultation with teachers, to individual and small group pull-out sessions one to three times a week, to intensive therapy provided daily in a speech-language class that is part of the child’s schedule. During classroom intervention, the speech-language pathologist and the classroom teacher collaborate to create lessons which are rich in oral language and auditory processing/listening skills. This is invaluable time when students receive instruction and guided practice utilizing speech-language skills and strategies within the academic classroom.
A student’s individualized speech-language objectives are addressed using multi-sensory instruction, utilizing a student’s strengths and unique learning style, allowing the child to experience success and then build on that success. Students may work on such skills as sentence formulation, vocabulary building, word-retrieval, and narrative production. They learn strategies to compensate for weak auditory processing and memory. Social pragmatic skills are addressed through direct instruction in small groups, as well as in the classroom and during less structured times such as between classes and at recess. Teachers and Radcliffe Creek's speech language pathologists work closely together, collaborating on addressing student needs. Speech-language therapy sessions regularly involve curricular material, and classroom teachers provide accommodations for auditory processing and memory difficulties, as well as oral language practice and social pragmatic guidance within their academic classes on a daily basis.
Little Creek pre-school students also receive speech-language screenings, evaluations, and intervention as needed. Therapy is provided in individual and small group settings, as well as within the Little Creek classroom, providing speech-language therapy in the context of the child’s “world.” Pull-out language therapy is often play-based and follows the child’s lead, resulting in highly contextualized and motivating therapy sessions that expand a child’s language skills. Communication with parents is emphasized in this early intervention philosophy, including description of the sessions, as well as education on how to work with the child at home.