SPEECH & LANGUAGE SERVICES

Communication is important in all aspects of learning and in everyday social interactions. Speaking, thinking, writing, and reading are essential to classroom instruction and are tools for effective communication. Children do not learn to communicate by themselves. They learn through involvement in their world. Parents serve as a vital link in providing their child with opportunities to learn.

When a child is referred to the BCIU’s Early Intervention Program, a formal speech and language evaluation is completed. If a child is found eligible, he or she will receive appropriate educational services. These services are provided at no cost through federal and state funds.

WHAT DOES THE SPEECH AND LANGUAGE EVALUATION COVER?

When a child is referred for special education services, a formal speech and language evaluation is conducted. The following areas are examined:

Articulation—sound production and speech intelligibility

  • Auditory Comprehension—understanding of language
  • Expressive Communication—use of words, phrases, and sentences
  • Fluency—rate and rhythm of speech
  • Health and Developmental History (including hearing acuity)
  • Pragmatics—social language use
  • Oral Mechanism—strength and mobility of the lips and tongue
  • Voice—pitch, volume, and quality

HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILD?

Parents are vital members of the team and are expected to provide their child with opportunities to learn and develop critical skills and also to participate in therapy and carryover activities provided by the therapist.

The BCIU offers parent workshops to enable parents to develop their child’s speech and language skills at home. Additionally, we provide supplemental materials that parents may use at home with their children.

HOW DOES MY CHILD QUALIFY FOR SERVICES?

Speech and language services in early intervention are mandated by federal and state law. When deciding if a child qualifies for special education services in early intervention, the law requires answers to the following two questions:

  • Does your child have a speech and language disorder or exhibit a 25 percent delay or greater?
  • Does your child’s disability impact his or her ability to participate in the general education curriculum and appropriate preschool activities?

If your child requires specially designed instruction, he or she is eligible for special education speech and language services.

WHAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED TO MY CHILD?

Speech and language therapists provide services in all areas of communication that affect a child’s ability to participate in interactions with others. The type and amount of services are determined by a child’s individual needs and may include consultation to parents, teachers, caregivers, and/or classroom teams. These services can occur in small or large groups or individually with a therapist in a typical preschool setting, such as a Head Start or BCIU Child Care classroom, or a community-based preschool.

When making recommendations for programming, qualified speech therapists consider various factors, including the severity of the problem, areas of delay, and the impact that the disability has on a child’s ability to participate in preschool activities.

A child will exit the program when he or she no longer requires specially designed instruction in order to access the general educational curriculum, or when articulation errors are within a developmentally appropriate range.



contact: Maritza Zoumas – 610-987-8544 – earlyinterventionreferral@berksiu.org