Early Learning Center
Speech and Language services are provided by speech/language pathologists (SLP’s) who have extensive training in the assessment and treatment of speech/language disorders. District 308 provides speech/language services to students in grades K-12 who qualify under district standards.
*Please note, if you have speech and language concerns about your child aged 3-5 years who does not yet attend elementary school, you can contact the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative. They may be reached at 630.553.5833 or on the Kendall County Special Education Cooperative Website.
Qualification for Speech and Language Services
In order to qualify for speech and language services through District #308, a child must exhibit an articulation/phonology, language, voice, or fluency disorder that meets the district’s speech and language eligibility criteria. In addition, documentation must be provided as to how this disorder impacts the child’s classroom performance either academically or socially. The disorder may negatively impact the child’s ability to read, write, follow classroom instruction, participate in classroom discussions or interact with peers. The amount of speech-language services a child qualifies for depends on the severity of his/her disorder(s).
School-aged children who are suspected of having an articulation/phonology, language, voice, and/or fluency disorder can be referred for a speech-language screening by a teacher or parent. The SLP will perform a brief 15-20 minute screening of the child’s speech and language skills. Parent/Guardian consent is not needed for this screening. The results of that screening can be used to make recommendations to classroom teachers and parents or to determine whether or not to proceed with a full evaluation.
If your child fails one or more sections of the screening, the SLP may decide to proceed with a full evaluation. At this point, additional information about your child’s educational, social, and health history will be obtained. The child’s parent(s)/guardian(s) will be asked to sign a consent form allowing the SLP to conduct the evaluation. The evaluation cannot proceed until written consent is returned to the SLP. By law, the SLP has sixty days to complete the evaluation once the consent form has been signed.
When the evaluation is complete, the SLP will set up a staffing in which the parents will be notified of the results of the testing. At this staffing, it will be determined whether or not your child qualifies for speech and language services. If your child does qualify, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) containing goals will be developed and shared with you.
Once in speech and language therapy, meetings are held yearly for an “annual review”. The “annual review” is used to discuss progress toward the child’s goals and plan for the following school year. Children are dismissed from speech and language services once all goals are achieved.
In addition, federal law mandates that every three years students in special education, including speech/language therapy, are reevaluated. Reevaluations are utilized to determine continued eligibility and the appropriate goals.
Speech sounds develop in a child’s speech over time, with some speech sounds not fully emerging until the age 7. District SLPs evaluate a child’s speech sound production to determine if error sounds are age-appropriate. Articulation disorders occur when a child incorrectly produces a specific sound (s, l, r) that he/she should be able to produce given his/her age. In addition, SLPs evaluate the child’s speech errors to determine if the patterns indicate a phonological disorder. Phonological disorders occur when a child’s rule system for speech sound production does not match the adult rule system. In these instances, the child is attempting to simplify speech when producing adult words.
If an articulation or phonological disorder is diagnosed, the SLP assists the child in learning the correct production of error sounds.
Speech & Sound Acquisition Chart
Language disorders occur when a child has difficulty producing and/or understanding language. Children exhibiting a language disorder may have difficulty with one or more of the following areas:
SLPs utilize a variety of language assessments in order to determine whether or not a language disorder is present. If a language disorder is diagnosed, the SLP will instruct the child on deficit areas using a variety of techniques and strategies.
Voice disorders occur when a child exhibits a deviation in the pitch, intensity, or duration of his/her voice. Children suffering from voice disorders often display a hoarse, raspy vocal quality and may have difficulty varying the volume of their voice. This may be caused by overuse of their voice, talking to loudly, or a variety of other reasons. Before a child can be treated for a voice disorder, he/she must see an ear-nose-throat (ENT) doctor. The ENT will generally perform an oral or nasoendoscopy. This procedure allows the ENT to look at the child’s vocal folds to determine if vocal nodules or other abnormalities are present. If the ENT deems voice therapy appropriate, the child may qualify for services.
Voice therapy teaches the child proper vocal hygiene and techniques on how to minimize the abuse on his/her vocal folds.
Fluency disorders occur when a child’s speech flow is interrupted by multiple repetitions, prolongations of sounds, and/or blocks of sound production. It is important to note that all speakers have moments of disfluency. Fluency disorders are diagnosed when the frequency of disfluency impairs their ability to communicate effectively. Children with fluency disorders may also exhibit secondary characteristics, such as eye blinks, avoidance of eye contact, and head nods during moments of disfluency. SLPs diagnose fluency disorders by determining the percentage of the child’s speech that is disfluent.
If a fluency disorder is diagnosed, SLPs teach the child strategies to decrease the frequency and length of disfluency. In addition, therapy focuses on the child’s feelings and emotions associated with disfluency.
Stuttering Foundation of America
National Stuttering Association (NSA)
American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
Autism Society of America