This area refers to children who have minor-moderate delay or disorders in their acquisition of speech sounds. An example of this would be when a child cannot produce their “r” or “s” sound.
This area describes children who have significant difficulties in reducing the use of “phonological processes” or a series of rules that “simplify” their speech utterances. The child’s “intelligibility” (ability to be understood) is greatly reduced in proportion to the number of “processes” they continue to use. For example children may use front sounds for back sounds (“tat” for cat), reduce consonant clusters (“lide” for slide), or delete final consonants (“ca” for cat).
Phonological Awareness (PA)
PA skills mean that a child is able to manipulate sounds and words or “play with” sounds and words. PA skills are the foundation for reading. These skills include following: Recognizing when words rhyme, Segmentation of words in sentences, Blending syllables, and more!
Language falls into two main categories: receptive language (understanding what is said, written or signed) and expressive language (speaking, writing or signing).
Social Interactive Communication/Pragmatics
This term is used to describe children whose communication difficulties are related to the social aspects of communicating. For example, your child is sitting in class and realizes his/her teacher just got a new hair cut. Your child blurts out, “My dad has the same haircut, you look like a boy!” Your child may not have intended to hurt the teacher’s feelings, but didn’t understand the social cues in that particular situation. These children are sometimes referred to as having “behaviour” issues, when in fact, they may need intervention to address their pragmatic skills. Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulties in these areas however, it is not specific to this group of children.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)
This area describes children who have disorders in the ability to “motor-program” the movements necessary to produce speech, write, or perform any motor act. These children can hear and perceive the differences in sounds and do not exhibit any weakness or muscle difficulties.
This area refers to children who have communication difficulties relating to permanent or temporary hearing losses. Hearing difficulties are very commonly related to speech, language, voice, and social interaction difficulties.
This term refers to a delay or disorder in the ability to speak in a fluent manner. It most typically includes children who are experiencing “stuttering”. It also includes children who are demonstrating normal nonfluencies associated with early speech and language development.
This term refers to abnormal voice quality often associated with “vocal nodules” or “callouses” on the vocal folds and which are usually secondary to abuse or misuse of the voice. This term also refers to disorders of pitch, “nasal resonance” and loudness.
**The speech-language pathologist in the school setting is also an expert in assessing voice disorders in teachers and providing voice management programs including the recommendation of FM/amplification systems to compensate for compromised vocal health.
This term refers to children who are unable to perform the precise muscle movements for speech due to inco-ordination, weakness, spasticity, or tremor. Intervention may include team involvement with the physical therapist or occupational therapist to strengthen trunk and breathing musculature for adequate speech support. It typically includes exercises of the jaw, lips and tongue. This area also includes children with abnormal oral structures for adequate speech production.
Alternative-Augmentative Communication (AAC)
This term refers to children who do not yet, or will not acquire adequate verbal skills to communicate their needs. The S-LP is part of the team who provides the evaluation, management, and counseling required to establish an alternative way of communicating or a system(s) to augment the verbal message. This might include: speech generating devices, gestures, sign language, photographs, picture symbols, word boards etc.
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
CAPD refers to a child who has a disorder in the acquisition of the perception of sounds. A child with CAPD may, despite the fact they have normal hearing, have difficulty understanding what they hear, following directions, listening in background noise, sustaining their attention to listening tasks, etc.
This refers to difficulties in swallowing. The speech-language pathologist identifies and provides remediation for this area to enable safe swallowing for children with neurological or physical conditions which place the child at risk for aspirating (having food or liquid enter the lungs). In the school setting, this might also refer to the management of saliva.
English as an Additional Language (EAL)
EAL refers to children whose primary communication differences are subsequent to not yet having acquired the speech, language and/or social interaction rules for English.