What kind of speech/language disorders are there?

  • Articulation/phonological disorders: A disorder of speech sound production or sound rule pattern.
  • Fluency disorder: Repetition and/or prolongation of sounds and/or portions of words.
  • Language disorders: Listening and understanding language, vocabulary, grammar, and the ability to express oneself. This includes pragmatic skills that are using language in an appropriate and successful manner during communicative interactions.
  • Voice disorders: Vocal quality, pitch or intensity that is different from the norm (i.e. harsh, raspy, hoarse, hyponasal, hypernasal, etc.).
  • Feeding/swallowing disorders: Issues with obtaining adequate and appropriate nutrition orally in a safe and efficient manner during school snacks and/or lunch.

At what age do speech sounds typically develop?

  • By age 5, children should be using the following speech sounds: p, b, m, t, d, k, g, h, w, n.
  • By age 6, children should be using the following speech sounds: ing, j, sh, l, zh, v, ch.
  • By age 7, children should be using the following speech sounds: s, z, th (as in “the”), s-l-r blends.
  • By age 8, children should have all their speech sounds, including: r and th (as in “thumb”).

The above information is provided only as a guideline. There is room for interpretation based on the individual child. The final decision is made by the special education team made up of the speech/language pathologist (SLP), parents, classroom teacher, assistant principal, and others, as necessary.
What should I do if I think my child is stuttering?

  • Don’t Panic. In most instances this is a normal developmental stage. Developmental stuttering should resolve itself by age 5.
  • Consult a Speech-language pathologist.
  • Let your child talk—don’t finish his/her sentences.
  • Don’t interrupt your child.
  • Model slow and easy speech. Slow and easy speech consists of using a slower rate of speech and having gentle production of speech sounds.

What can I do to help my child become a better listener?

  • Help them learn good listening skills, such as:
    • Get your child’s attention before you speak.
    • Encourage your child to look at you.
    • Have them repeat directions.
    • Model good listening behaviors by giving your child your complete attention when he/she is talking to you.

What is the difference between a speech/language screening and a speech/language evaluation?

  • A screening is a brief look at a child to see if there is a reason to perform a more in depth evaluation of speech and language skills. A speech/language evaluation is an in depth look at communication skills to determine if there are areas of delay/disorders based on formal testing and clinical observations.

Can I request a speech/language screening and how do I go about it?

  • Yes, you can. Parents can request a speech/language screening for their child. They may speak to their child’s teacher or call the school office and ask for the SLP.

What are some symptoms of a possible hearing loss?

  • Poor sound production skills.
  • Speaks too loudly or too softly.
  • Turns head to one side.
  • Appears not to understand or respond when spoken to.

How is a schedule of service delivery determined once my child has been found eligible for speech/language services?

  • Illinois law mandates that a student cannot be scheduled for speech/language services during his/her P.E. class. District policy states that students cannot be removed from Music or Art classes. The classroom teacher and SLP will work together to find a mutually convenient time to schedule the student for speech and language services.

Are speech/language services available during the summer?

  • Yes, however, significant regression of speech/language skills over prolonged absences from speech/language services must be documented in order for a student to qualify for summer therapy.

What is “adverse effect” on the Individual Education Plan (IEP)?

  • A student does not qualify for speech/language services until it has been established that their delay/disorder has an adverse effect on their educational performance. Educational performance includes the areas of academics, social skills and emotional soundness. In Illinois, adverse effect has been defined as “problems resulting from the manifested characteristics of the student’s disability which interfere with learning and educational performance in school”. This means that the effect of the delay/disorder on the student is such that they are not able to benefit from the regular instructional program offered to others in their age group. The adverse effect is not the actual delay/disorder, but rather the impact of that delay/disorder on the student.