What are Speech / Language Services?

Speech and language services are provided to students at both HilltopSchool and Mountain ViewSchool. In order to be eligible to receive speech/language services, a student must be evaluated by the speech/language therapist and found to exhibit a problem in one or more areas of communication in addition to academic and social impact:

  1. Articulation -- A child has an articulation problem when he or she produces sounds, syllables or words incorrectly so that listeners may not understand what is being said or may pay more attention to the way the words sound rather than their meaning.
  2. Stuttering -- Stuttering is a condition where the flow of speech is broken by abnormal stoppages. These interruptions in speech fluency may take the form of repetitions (re-re-re-repetitions), prolongations (prooolongaaations), or blocks (no sound). There may also be unusual facial or body movement associated with the effort to speak.
  3. Voice -- Voice problems exist when the pitch, loudness or vocal quality calls attention to itself rather than what the speaker is saying., or if the speaker experiences pain or discomfort when speaking or singing. Voice problems can range from temporary hoarseness, as in when one cheers too much at a football game, to more serious problems such as vocal nodules or polyps.
  4. Language Delay or Language Disorder --Language delay is a noticeable slowness in the development of vocabulary and grammar for expressing oneself or in understanding others. Language may also be impaired as a result of a hearing impairment, stroke, or head injury. Children who exhibit language delays or disorders receive speech/language services as a related service to their special education program. When parents suspect a lag in language development, referral must be made to the Child Study Team for assessment. A speech/language evaluation is completed as part of this assessment.

In the Mendham Borough School District, speech and language screenings are completed each year for kindergarten students, second-grade students, and new students to the district (grades K-6). If problems are noted during these routine screenings, parents will be notified for further evaluation of the problem. If, upon further evaluation, speech therapy is recommended, children are scheduled to receive services in either small group or individual sessions. Parent involvement and follow-through at home are an essential ingredient to the child’s success in the speech program.

Additional Reading

  • DeHirsch, Katrina (1984). Language and the Developing Child.Baltimore: The Orton Dyslexia Society.
  • Hodgdon, Linda (1996). Visual Strategies for Improving Communication. Troy, Michigan: Quirk Roberts Publishing.
  • Madaule, Paul (1994). When Listening Comes Alive: A Guide to Effective Learning and Communication. Norval Ontario, Canada LOP 1KO: Moulin Publishing.
  • Stuttering Foundation of America. If Your Child Stutters: A Guide for Parents. Available through the Stuttering Foundation of America, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749.
  • Stuttering Foundation of America. Stuttering and Your Child: Questions and Answers. Available through the Stuttering Foundation of America, P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111-0749.
  • Tomatis, Alfred A., Dr. (1991). The Conscious Ear. Rhinebeck, NY: Station Hill Press.
  • Tomatis, Alfred A., Dr. (1996). The Ear and Language(Ed.: Billie M. Thompson).Ontario, Canada: Moulin Publishing.
  • Vail, Priscilla L. (1996). “Words Fail Me”: How Language Works and What Happens When It Doesn’t. Rosemont, NJ: Modern Learning Press.
  • Eisenberg, Arlene, Heidi E. Murkoff and Sandee E. Hathaway. What to Expect The First Year.
  • Eisenberg, Arlene, Heidi E. Murkoff and Sandee E. Hathaway. What to Expect the Toddler Years.
  • You may also find some excellent articles in Parent’s Magazine and Child Magazine