cat.gif   What an SLP does in relation to Academic Skills in the School Setting:

SLPs can help students…

 use appropriate grammar and complex sentence structure, which will translate to improvement in both oral language and improve the quality of written work completed by the student in the classroom

 increase vocabulary skills so that students will have more words to use when they convey information to others, which will also improve their ability to complete classroom work, follow directions and be understood by others

 use social rules of language (pragmatics--such as eye contact, turn-taking, topic maintenance, opening & closing conversations) to better interact with peers and teachers

 improve speech sound production to be better understood when speaking

 improve vocal quality to maintain proper hygiene of the vocal cords and oral mechanism

 become more fluent speakers by helping to reduce .excessive part and whole word repetitions, blocks and prolongations in speaking patterns

See "information for parents and teachers" for in-depth information on various communication disorders, their effects on learning and information on what parents and teachers can do to help.

cat.gif  More on negative effects of speech and language disorders…

One of the most reliable predictors of reading success is a student’s phonemic awareness skills or the ability to orally segment the sounds they hear in words, blend sounds together to make words, rhyme, and manipulate words orally (McGuinness, 1998).    Children who don’t hear all of the sounds in words, or have difficulty with rhyming, blending, breaking down words into sounds, adding or deleting sounds orally will most likely have difficulty with developing reading skills. 

Orally, these may also be students that substitute sounds in words, such as saying “teef” instead of “teeth”, or “vat” for “bat”, and may need therapy for speech sound disorders.  Speech therapy focuses on teaching students to listen for correct sound patterns and speak correctly so that they can learn to use the pattern correctly in reading and writing.

Another predictor of reading success is the student’s ability to organize, recall, and discuss information.  When children have difficulties in these areas, they are going to have trouble with learning new skills, following directions, reading, writing and all other academic areas.  SLPs work with students to help increase their vocabulary skills so that they will understand what others are talking about.  We help children learn to categorize, compare, contrast and analyze information so that they can organize information in their minds and gain knowledge at school. 

At school children need to verbally express their thoughts and ideas to teachers in order to convey what they know.  Difficulties in oral communicatoin will impact their ability to convey what they remember and know in the classroom, participate in classroom discussions and interact with peers.  Difficulties with speech and language will also affect sentence structure and complexity.  Children with oral language disabilities tend to use poor grammar, simple sentence structure, and provide less complex or incorrect answers to questions posed by their teachers.