Communication Disorders (CD) Services at Lane ESD
While communication is a complex, core priority in our classrooms, Lane ESD’s approach to communication services can be explained in fairly simple ways.
Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
All of Lane ESD’s comunication services are provided by SLPs who are:
- licensed in the State of Oregon by the Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (BSPA); and
- certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) with a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-SLP).
Lane ESD SLPs provide services in the following contexts:
- Life Skills classrooms,
- Lane School classrooms,
- some of Lane County’s rural schools, and
- special and general education venues managed by other agencies.
Our SLPs are Communication Disorders Specialists, in that our students can rely on their expertise across all of the following areas:
- Speech (articulation/production of sounds);
- Cognition (attention, memory, ordering in space/time, critical thinking);
- Language (meanings with sounds, signs, writing, and pictures);
- Literacy (reading, story retell);
- Social Skills (social rules/relationships, eye contact, facial/body language);
- Fluency (stuttering, cluttering);
- Voice (loudness, pitch, tremor, hoarseness, breathiness); and
- Hearing (screenings, signed communication support).
- Feeding/Swallowing (aversions, bolus formation, aspiration); and/or
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (communication systems, both unaided and aided, that are more sophisticated than Assistive Communication).
Lane ESD promotes a transdisciplinary model, where therapy is coordinated across specialists who provide services in a variety of areas, some of whom work for other agencies entirely.
Close contact with teachers and staff members is equally important because they create classrooms that are language-rich environments. All day, every day, those people support communication and social interaction, immersing their students in an abundance of sensory images, art, movement, drama, math, narrative, technology, science, rhythm, print, and music.
What SLP Therapy Looks Like
Direct “face-to-face” contact is easy to see as it goes on, whether it occurs one-on-one, in small group, or with a whole class.
Indirect contact can be observation, consultation with staff, or the monitoring of activities run by a staff member trained by the SLP.
Most therapy mixes direct and indirect approaches, and it can be pull-out (taking the student out of class), push-in (the SLP works in the classroom or community), or in between. So therapy might take the shape of:
- modeling basic communication partnership during floor time with a kinder;
- playing a game with a group learning to say “my turn” and “your turn”;
- observing a student with staff and peers to see if therapy is working;
- training a staff member to reinforce comm. in a Reading Group;
- taking a student for a spin around the campus while working on vocabulary;
- attending music class with a student to learn about what they like;
- enticing students in snack time to use whole phrases to make requests;
- coordinating activities with other specialists; and, most importantly,
- encouraging students about their communication whenever and wherever the opportunity arises.
Therapy is better when sessions use materials that appear in other lessons, such as practicing the /s/ sound in speech when it is being covered in Reading Group.
SLP Partnerships with Other Agencies
If you supplement Lane ESD services with those from other providers, please consider filling out the Oregon form for Authorization to Use and/or Disclose Educational and Protected Health Information so that your child’s school specialists can coordinate their efforts.
If you are looking into purchasing a system on your own, we urge you to consult with the specialists who are working with your child. This is particularly important if you are thinking about the introduction of the device into the classroom. That process is not as easy to explain as the rest of the material on this page, and is part of a broader model that Lane County Districts are developing to hold in common: Unified Approach to AT and AAC.
CDT in Intensely Special Education
While all SLP therapy occurs in a special education context, there are venues (such as the Life Skills classrooms) that require therapy whose design goes well beyond the likes of pull-out sessions for articulation. To be effective, it needs to account for differences in sensation as well as cognition, and should be informed by functionalist rather than formalist approcahes to communication and linguistics. We have developed a tutorial on CDT in intensely special education, which we would encourage SLPs working in such settings to read. For access to that material, contact information is provided above.