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The Role of the Speech -Language and Hearing Therapy Department

The speech - language and hearing department at The School of Achievement forms part of the School Based Support Team.  Speech therapists provide group therapy for children in the Junior School intensively working on areas of speech, auditory perception, receptive and expressive language, discourse and pragmatic skills.

Assessments are completed to determine the level of functioning.  These results are used in the formulation of treatment plans.  Weaknesses are then targeted within a small peer group.  Therapy usually occurs twice weekly in Grades 1 – 4. 

Class discussions are held weekly to ensure the holistic carry-over of knowledge and skills.  Furthermore audiology screenings occur annually to ensure the stability of the auditory pathways.

A.    Speech-Language Assessment

At the School of Achievement the School Based Support Team (SBST) is required to make recommendations regarding a learner’s Individualized Treatment Plan (IEP) which may include enrolment at the school or alternative placement. In order to assist us in the compilation of IEP’s, learners are re-assessed by the speech-language therapists at the end of their Grade 1 and Grade 3 years.   The results are used to establish the learner’s current level of functioning in terms of auditory processing, receptive language and expressive language as well as speech production.  Furthermore assessment assists in group structuring and devising therapy aims and goals.

The following areas are usually assessed:

1.    Auditory Perceptual Abilities/Phonemic Awareness

  • Auditory Discrimination
  • Auditory Sequential Memory
  • Auditory Story Memory
  • Sound Blending
  • Auditory Closure
  • Auditory Analysis
  • Auditory Synthesis
  • Listening to Paragraphs


2.    Receptive Language Abilities

  • Receptive Vocabulary
  • Grammatical Understanding
  • Sentence Structure
  • Concepts and Directions
  • Word Classes
  • Auditory Reception


3.    Expressive Language Abilities

  • Word finding Vocabulary
  • Oral Vocabulary
  • Grammatic Closure
  • Grammatic Completion
  • Sentence Imitation
  • Auditory Association
  • Word Structure
  • Formulated Sentences
  • Sentence Assembly / Word Ordering
  • Sentence Combining


4.   Hearing screening

5.   Oral Peripheral Examination

6.   Speech Production and Articulation

7.   Fluency

B.    Speech-Language Therapy

The aim of speech-language therapy is to develop individual speech, language and communication skills.   Therapy involves a series of speech, listening and language activities to meet specific communication goals. The period of therapy is determined by the nature and degree of the speech-language disorder. The rate and pattern of improvement is different for each learner. The above has a direct influence on the frequency and length of therapy.

Speech-language therapy proceeds in small steps. Therapy is based on a carefully designed sequence of practice. The therapist selects key communication skills that are taught in several ways – through drill practice, play interactions, or conversation. The difficulty of the response required is gradually increased over time through reinforcement and feedback. Therapy may occur on an individual, a small group and/or a class group level. Often the therapist integrates into the class activities to assist with the transfer of skills taught on an individual level.


C.    Links

D.    Support Groups


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