Students with speech and language delays often struggle in the classroom. The extent and nature of their struggles are unique to their underlying speech and language delay. As Speech-Language Pathologists, it is important to help our students be successful in the classroom.
I have created a road-map of how you can help your students with speech and language delays in the classroom.
1) Share and explain the diagnosis with the student's teacher. Helping the teacher understand the child's diagnosis can help the teacher 'get on board' with using strategies in the classroom. Take the time to explain the diagnosis and the functional impact on the child. Explain the child's areas of strength and areas that require support.
2) Share strategies with the student's teacher. Leave practical strategies specific to the child with the teacher. If possible, model the strategies for the teacher in the classroom. Grab this FREEBIE to help you out. This quick and easy checklist provides a variety of strategies suitable for children with speech and language delays. There are strategies for Receptive Language, Speech Sounds, Visuals and Behavior, Expressive Language, and Early Language. Grab it HERE.
3) Explicitly explain the student's goals to the teacher and how they can target them in the classroom. In addition to ensuring that your goals are easy to understand, spend some time reviewing them with the teacher. Brainstorm ways that they can target these goals during centre time, snack time, and other classroom routines.
4) Follow up regularly with the teacher. A quick email or pop-in to the classroom will help the teacher feel supported and allows you to provide continuous strategies and feedback to the teacher.
5) Ask the child what they need help within the classroom. If the child is old enough to answer, you may want to ask them what they need help within the classroom. This can help guide your suggestions for the teacher.