The Role of the Speech-Language Specialist in Schools

The role of the Speech-Language Specialist in schools is multi-faceted. Specific responsibilities depend on the nature and size of the student population being served, as well as the educational setting in which the services occur. The following is a list of key responsibilities of the Speech-Language Specialist in the school setting.

Direct Service Provider: The Speech-Language Specialist provides therapy to students with speech, language and /or hearing disabilities. This involves preparing and teaching lessons based on the student’s individualized educational program (IEP) that is age-appropriate and related to the general education curriculum. This may be done in or out of the classroom.

Evaluator: The Speech-Language Specialist uses a variety of assessment techniques and tools, both standardized and functional to evaluate students with suspected speech and/or language disabilities.

Consultant: The Speech-Language Specialist consults with teachers, school resource committee members and parents on strategies for facilitating the generalization of learned speech-language skills to real life situations.

Child Study Team Member: The Speech-Language Specialist serves as a child study team member at the identification meeting for preschool students. The Speech-Language Specialist also serves as a child study team member when a child is referred to the team for a suspected language disorder.

Case Manager: The Speech-Language Specialist serves as a case manager for all students referred for a suspected voice, articulation, or fluency disorder, and for some students with a suspected language disorder. The case manager coordinates the development, monitoring, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the IEP, as well as the annual review and reevaluation process.


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