SPEECH & LANGUAGE REFERRAL RESOURCE
Speech and Language skills influence many aspects of a child’s educational performance. In order for a child to qualify for the speech impairment program, he/she must have their academic performance negatively impacted as a result of the presence of a speech and/or language impairment.
Below is an outline of the areas that pertain to speech-language therapy to assist you with identifying the area(s) of concern that may prompt a referral.
· Difficulty producing common sounds (i.e. /k/, /g/, /s/, /z/, /sh/, /ch/, /r/, etc.)
· Leaving off, adding or changing sounds in words
· Speech is difficult to understand during everyday talking
· Difficulty with oral-motor skills when eating or speaking (e.g., drooling, open mouth posture, ‘groping’ for the correct oral position when trying to speak/make sounds)
Note: A referral can be made only if there is a negative impact on educational performance. The sound difficulties must impact an academic area (i.e. spelling, reading, writing, oral presentations, etc.).
· Exhibits an unusual quality to his/her voice when speaking (e.g., hoarseness, raspy)
· Uses an unusually loud volume most of the time
· Uses an unusually quiet volume most of the time
· Speaks in a high pitch
· Speaks as if talking through his/her nose
· Speaks as if he/she has a cold all of the time (i.e., has a stuffy nose)
Note: Students who are referred for voice concerns must have a medical diagnosis by a physician in order to receive speech therapy.
FLUENCY: (commonly referred to as “dysfluency” or “stuttering”)
· Experiences unusual blocks/hesitations (i.e. “gets stuck”) or prolongations (i.e. stretches out sounds) when speaking
· Repeats sounds, parts of words, whole words and/or phrases/sentences when speaking
· Exhibits physical characteristics during moments dysfluency (e.g., facial grimaces, tics, eye blinks, tension in throat or body)
· Struggles to understand and/or uses a limited vocabulary (*Does not imply to ESOL students)
· Difficulty following directions consistently
· Difficulty answering questions (i.e. yes/no, wh – questions, etc.)
· Difficulty with sequencing tasks during manual activities or paper/pencil tasks.
· Difficulty with organizing and sequencing content of verbal expression (i.e. ideas, stories, or events are described with insufficient detail or incorrect order so that the meaning is unclear).
· Grammatical errors demonstrated in spoken and written language activities
· Requires extra time to formulate thoughts and responses
· Experiences word retrieval difficulties (i.e., has the word ‘on the tip of his/her tongue’ some of the time)
· Difficulty putting words together to formulate thoughts and ideas verbally and/or in writing tasks
· Difficulty with grasping the main idea or relevant details in material presented
· Difficulty with logical thinking skills. Student may fail to see simple cause and effect relationships.
SOCIAL SKILLS (also referred to as pragmatic language skills):
· Difficulty interacting with peers and adults (i.e. initiating, maintaining, and ending interactions with others)
· Problems answering questions or maintaining the “flow” of conversation.
· Does not interact with peers during recess, gym, etc.
· Struggles to identify emotions pertaining to self and others
· Limited or no use of eye contact during interactions
· Perseverates on topics/objects/events, etc.
Please note that this is to be used as a general reference guide and the characteristics identified in each area are to give you a general idea, and they are not the only factors to consider.