It is common for elementary school teachers to read books to their classes. They read textbooks aloud and will often have a time set aside each day to read a non-curriculum book to the class as well. Students love this and it teaches them a variety of skills including the proper way to read, how to pronounce new words, and how inflection should be used. Once students enter junior high, reading aloud often becomes nothing but a distant memory. [continue reading…]
There are two specialties that are experiencing rapid growth in the field of speech pathology, geriatrics and pediatrics. One of the reasons speech therapy for children is experiencing such rapid growth is because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act passed in 2004. This is a federal law that guarantees services to all children with disabilities who are eligible. The eligibility process requires an evaluation of the child by the appropriate authority. When a speech delay or impediment is a possibility, that authority is a speech therapist. With older children, a school official will typically be the one to initiate the evaluation process. But what about toddlers and children who are not yet in school? Usually, a pediatrician will notice something abnormal and write a prescription for an evaluation or the parent will request a screening because of concerns.
A dear friend of mine, Sarah, is a school speech pathologist. Her position is also referred to as a speech therapist. During her years working with students she has come across numerous interesting challenges but none touched her the way Navi did. Navi was a student from Sri Lanka. In addition to being raised in a non-English speaking area and before he was transferred to an American public school, he also had medical problems that were making it impossible for him to speak. The most prominent medical issue was a severe cleft palate that had been untreated in his home country. In fact, his mother moved to America hoping to find treatment for her son. Other medical problems exacerbated the issue making speech acquisition almost impossible for the child. When my friend first encountered him, he was already in sixth grade. [continue reading…]