Speech-Language Services in TCSE Specialized Programs
The speech-language pathologist plays an important team role in the needs of students with disabilities placed in TCSE programs for educational instruction. The type frequency or model of service delivery may vary. The program's special education curriculum guides the SLP in identifying services needed to support the student or staff and caregivers.
The RISE program for students with profound disabilities works toward gains in core foundational skills and all developmental areas including communication.
The SLP’s role in supporting students placed for educational instruction in this program is to offer skilled speech-language consultation and training; as well as, direct therapy.
The Communication Matrix is used to assess, identify, and develop communication skills through the earliest stages to more formal language systems. The communication matrix represents four areas or reasons for communicating through seven levels of competence and skills*: to refuse something, to obtain something, to engage in social interaction, and
to provide or seek information.*
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems are an integral part of this program to help non-verbal students access and participate in routine tasks. The implementation and training of staff to use these visual or tangible communication systems is integral to supporting students in this program. Indirect support on behalf of the students to identify opportunities and establish accommodations, technology, and strategies to support staff and families is a major focus of the SLP in this program.
The Communication Development program is designed for children with severe communication deficits. The program methodology is based on applied behavior analysis and uses a multi-modal approach to teaching and learning including a high level of visual supports and augmentative alternative communication systems. The CD program teaches core foundational skills like imitation, following commands, compliance, and emotional regulation through Conscious Discipline. The SLP’s role in this program is to offer skilled speech-language consultation and training; as well as, direct therapy targeting:
-verbal production augmented with picture or object-based -communication systems and voice output technology
-functional communication ( gaining attention, accepting, rejecting, requesting, commenting, seeking information, giving information, responding, social reciprocal interaction) and,
TCSE programs rely heavily on other special educators within the classroom to implement communication strategies throughout everyday activities to ensure embedded intervention within natural and functional routines and interactions. The PAC Model (Providers, Activities & Contexts) is used to consider all options for service delivery.
The Choices program develops daily living skills and functional communication within routines, naturally occurring contexts (school, home, community), and activities that will directly benefit the students and support access to information and experiences. The SLP’s role in this program is to offer skilled speech-language consultation and training; as well as, direct therapy targeting ;
-functional communication ( gaining attention, accepting, rejecting, requesting, commenting, seeking information, giving information, responding, social reciprocal interaction)
-social communication/interaction and
This program recognizes that students with disabilities may require accommodations, strategies and support that follow them through life in the transition from school to the community. The early goal for the SLP is to teach new functional speaking and listening skills, when developmentally cognitively or physiologically appropriate, and then transition to indirect support through identifying accommodations, strategies or establishing the use of assistive technology that may be needed throughout life in order to communicate, respond and engage in social activities.
The ASPIRE program serves the educational needs of students who have not been successful in traditional school programs because of chronic behavioral, emotional, and/or social choice-making difficulties. Instruction emphasizes taking responsibility for one’s own behavior and learning to accept consequences for one’s own actions. The school utilizes staff training and practices that are consistent with Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Best Practices in order to teach students pro-social choice-making and maximize their education
The role of the SLP in this program is to identify and treat speech-language disorders to their fullest potential. This includes areas of voice, fluency, spoken language, and speech intelligibility. Placement in this program offers students with social-emotional deficits embedded social work services to provide interventions and strategies addressing feelings, empathy, self-esteem, anger, composure and emotional regulation. The SLP’s focus is targeted at the grade level common core standards for speaking and listening. Support for pragmatic or social communication (conversational skills, non-verbal communication cues, and problem-solving) can be provided using the Everyday Speech Social Communication Curriculum in conjunction with the social worker addressing SEL standards across environments. Targeting social communication deficits requires natural peer context and developing self-awareness/ social cognition, in order to practice skills. Some pre-teaching of specific social communication skills through therapy may or may not be required in addition to the indirect consultation provided to support the classroom staff in embedding social communication opportunities within the daily context of social situations and issues as they arise naturally.
The Early Childhood program is designed for children 3-5 yrs of age with deficits in one or more developmental areas that interfere with their ability to participate in general education preschool environments. The Preschool Social Language Therapy program (T. Veale) is used as a guide to planning IEP goals and objectives for this population.
The SLP’s role in this program is to offer skilled speech-language consultation and training; as well as, direct therapy targeting developmentally appropriate communication skills identified through the Early Learning Standards in speaking and listening;
-speech sound production and intelligibility
-spoken language ( expressive and receptive language skills)-functional communication ( gaining attention, accepting, rejecting, requesting, commenting, seeking information, giving information, responding, social reciprocal interaction)
-social communication/interaction-voice or fluency