Speech-Language Pathology (SLP)

Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) services are available to SSRCE students for the assessment and intervention of language disorders and other communication difficulties.

Who are Speech-Language Pathologists?
• Speech–Language Pathologists (S-LPs) have a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders. They are employed by school regions to provide speech, language, and communication development services to school-age students.
• S-LPs specialize in the assessment and intervention of articulation (speech) and language learning disorders as well as other communication difficulties (e.g. stuttering, social communication…).
– SLPs conduct assessments to determine the speech, language and communication needs of individual students and to provide direct or indirect services to students through speech and language therapy or alternate communication methods.
– SLPs work with regional and school-based staff to develop both classroom-based and individual speech-language programming for students.

Program Overview
• The emphasis for speech-language services is on early intervention. S-LPs may provide direct or indirect service depending on the student’s communication and learning needs.
• The selection of students for direct therapy is dependent on a number of variables including the type and severity of the student’s communication needs and the availability of support at home and at school for the student.
• Consultation (indirect) service may take a variety of forms: participation on Student Planning Teams, team teaching, providing home programs, providing training and professional development to teachers and teacher assistants, and collaboration with outside agencies.

Types of speech-language disorders include:
Articulation/Phonology: difficulty pronouncing certain speech sounds (e.g. ‘tar’ for ‘car’).
Language: difficulty understanding and/or using oral or written language (e.g. difficulty following directions, understanding meaning, using age-appropriate sentence grammar, using oral or written language to show what you know).
Pragmatics/Social Skills: difficulty understanding and using social language at an age appropriate level; difficulty with social interactions and conversation skills (e.g. turn taking, getting along with others, topic maintenance…).
Voice: unusual high/low pitch for the student’s age, monotone voice, consistently hoarse, or nasal/denasal voice quality.
Fluency (Stuttering): difficulty controlling the fluency and rate of speech (e.g. consistently repeating sounds and/or parts of words).
Phonological Awareness/Literacy: difficulty with decoding (sounding out) words, rhyming, sound-letter correspondence, segmenting, blending, and spelling.
Hearing: difficulty producing sounds, using and/or understanding language due to hearing related concerns (e.g. hearing loss, cochlear implant…). SLPs are able to perform hearing screenings.

S-LPs work with assigned schools on an itinerant basis. Students may be referred for speech-language services by teachers, parents, or outside agencies through their school based Teaching Support Team. They may be identified prior to school entry through preschool SLP services from Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres. Referrals are received through the school team at the student’s school. For all ages parent consent is required prior to service.

To contact an SLP please contact the student’s school.