What Does a Speech/Language Pathologist (SLP) do?


    A lot!  Speech and language therapy takes many forms:

    • Pull-Out for small group or individual therapy  - Therapy occurs within the speech pathologist’s room.
    • Push-In the classroom - Instruction takes place in the classroom and is based on curricular goals.
    • Classroom facilitation - SLP is available in the classroom to help speech/language students when difficulties are encountered.
    • Consultation - SLP meets with the teacher and/or support staff to discuss goals and strategies, and to monitor progress and needs of the student.
    • Monitoring - SLP monitors progress in other settings.
    • Whole group language lessons - SLP plans and implements an activity related to classroom theme and reinforces the student's goals in a whole group setting.

    Not every therapy delivery model is appropriate for all students.  It is highly dependent on the individual needs of the student and what will make him/her successful.

    Students on a speech/language caseload can exhibit a variety of communication disorder types that impact their learning.  These include:


    • Articulation Disorders – Speech sound errors such as omissions, substitutions, and distortions that impact speech intelligibility. Central Dauphin School District students may not be enrolled for speech services for misarticulation of /r, l, s, th, ch, sh/ prior to 3rd grade or age 8.
    • Voice Disorders -  Vocal pathology that is medically documented by an otolaryngologist (ENT) characterized by severe hoarseness, harshness, and nasality when speaking.
    • Fluency Disorders  -  Stuttering behaviors characterized by sound repetitions, hesitations, and/or prolongations that interfere with effective communication.
    • Receptive Language Disorders - Limited ability to understand information presented verbally and non-verbally.  Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is a common example characterized by an inability to process aural information despite normal hearing.
    • Expressive Language Disorders - Difficulty communicating both verbally and non-verbally with others.  Grammar, sentence structure, syntax, and semantic ability may be affected through speaking and/or writing.
    • Pragmatic Language Disorders - Impaired knowledge and/or awareness of proper social skills in a variety of settings.  Peer relationships are often affected as is the child's ability to work cooperatively in the classroom.  
    • Autism - A "spectrum" disorder that is neurologically based and diagnosed medically by a physician or clinical psychologist.  Language and social skills are usually the greatest aspects of behavior affected by the disorder.
    • Asperger’s Syndrome - Also considered on the autistic spectrum, children with this disorder typically have intact verbal skills, but have difficulty with social skills and interpreting non-literal language.

    *  It is the SLP's job to work with members of the "team" to develop an effective plan which will help the student succeed in the classroom despite their communicative challenges.

    October Tip:        Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
    November Tip:    Magical R
    January Tip :       Receptive Language
    February Tip :     Stuttering
    March Tip:          High School and Beyond
    April Tip:             Autism
    May Tip:             Expressive Language
    June Tip:             Voice Disorders
Last Modified on June 12, 2017