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Welcome to the Speech Therapy page.
Here you will find information about speech therapy services in DISD.
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is the assessment of and treatment for communication problems and speech disorders. It is performed by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), which are often referred to as speech therapists.
Speech therapist use many techniques to assist students with communication improvement. These include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, consulting with teachers, other providers and parents. There are also other techniques depending on the type of speech or language disorder.
The Speech Therapy team provides speech therapy in accordance with the best practices model advocated by ASHA and TSHA. Each student who receives speech therapy has been evaluated by a speech pathologist and determined to have an educational need for speech therapy services. The ARD committee determines the student's goals and therapy schedule.
IDEA 2004 Speech impairment means: communication disorders such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or voice impairment that adverserly affects a child’s educational performance. ( region 4, Clinical/Medical Model Diagnosis vs. Educational Eligibility)
Jennifer Arnold, SLP-CCC
Nyesha Jackson-Cavil, Assistant
Megan Craft, SLP-CCC
Chelsey Morales, Assistant
Daryl Dagley, SLP-CCC
Monica Schmid, SLP-CCC
Rebecca Howe, SLP-CCC 281-229-
Kim Stocker, SLP-CCC
Patricia Garcia-Gill, Assistant
Michelle Wagner, SLP-CCC
Kristin Garr, SLP-CCC
Tonia Marion-Wilson, SLP-CCC (LEAD)
Kelly Quinonez, Assistant
Tonia Wilson has over 20 years experience and has served as the lead SLP for DISD since 2004.
Team Leader Profile:
Tonia graduated from Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches with a Master's degree in Speech Pathology. Her background includes serving in the Army Reserve and Texas National Guard, attaining the rank of Captain before becoming a Speech Pathologist.
What is a speech sound / articulation disorder?
An atypical production of speech sounds characterized by
–Substitutions (tool/cool, wash/watch)
–Omissions (sip/slip, boo/book)
–Additions or distortions (lisps, wabbit/rabbit)
This disorder may interfere with intelligibility. Significant speech sound disorders impact a child’s self-esteem, peer relationships, and ability to read, spell, and write accurately.
What is a Language disorder?
A language disorder is impaired comprehension and/or use of spoken, written, and/or other symbol systems. The disorder may involve, in any combination:
–the form of language (phonology, morphology, syntax);
–the content of language (semantics); and/or
–the function of language in communication (pragmatics).
What is fluency disorder?
An interruption in the flow of speaking characterized by atypical rate, rhythm, and repetitions in sounds, syllables, words, and phrases.
-Prolonging, repeating, or blocking on sounds or words are typical signs of
What is a voice disorder?
Abnormal production and/or absences of vocal quality, pitch, loudness, resonance, and/or duration, which is inappropriate for an individual’s age and/or sex gender .
-Voice may sound hoarse, raspy, too soft, high pitched, or choppy.
Who is Eligible for receiving Speech services?
A student is eligible for speech-language pathology services through IDEA when s/he exhibits a speech impairment that has an adverse effect on educational performance to the degree that specially designed instruction of related services and supports are needed from the SLP to help the student make progress in the general education curriculum.
Determination of eligibility for the individualized education program (IEP) services with a speech impairment is a process that involves collecting data to answer the following questions:
What is AAC?
Augmentative and Alternative Communication is an area of clinical practice that attempts to compensate for the impairment and disability patterns of individuals with severe expressive communication disorders
AAC uses a variety of techniques and tools including:
–picture communication boards
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a central role in the screening, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of persons requiring AAC intervention.
Referral for Speech and Language Evaluation
Students with suspected speech and/or language impairments are evaluated using a comprehensive battery that is conducted by a professional that is licensed and/or certified as a speech-language pathologist. Professionals may maintain the Texas state license in speech-language pathology or may hold the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Speech and Hearing Therapy certificate as previously granted by the TEA. Many speech-language pathologists also hold the American Speech, Hearing, and Language Associations Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech and Language Pathology. A Licensed Assistant in Speech and Language therapy may administer routine tests as per state licensing board requirements.
Prior to referral, students experiencing language difficulties in the general education classroom should be considered for the support services available to all students, such as tutorials, remedial services, and/or other support services. If the student continues to experience difficulty in the general education classroom after the provision of interventions, the campus should refer the student for a full and individual initial evaluation. The student’s native language, along with students who speak multiple languages, as well as language dominance, and language impact will be considered prior to evaluation and as part of the individual evaluation.
School age students are referred through the campus referral process and students who are not enrolled in school are referred through the child find process.
Parents can request a referral through the parent inquiry link.
Service Delivery Models:
DISD provides a continuum of Speech Therapy services. These services can range from general education intervention supports to a more restrictive pull-out of classroom model. Services are individually designed based upon student needs within the context of the ARD/IEP process.
Direct Services can include: Classroom based, co-teaching/collaboration, pull-out and combined services.
Indirect Support Services can include: Assistive Technology Support, urriculum modifications, consultation, IEP development, progress reporting, classroom interventions, and training.
Combination of Direct and Indirect Services
Dismissal from speech services:
Communication disorders have been remediated or compensatory strategies have been successfully established.
Individual/Family chooses not to participate in treatment.
Treatment no longer results in measurable benefits (ASHA Decision making termination of Services, ASHA 2004 Admission/Discharge Criteria. TSHA )
Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association -
In the state of Texas, there are approximately 8,000 speech-language pathologists and audiologists. The mission of our association is to empower speech-language pathologists and audiologists in the spirit of partnership with consumers and families. TSHA is committed to achieving excellence in education, professional development, and leadership through the application of the human and financial resources of the association.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
In the state of Texas, ASHA is the professional, scientific and credentialing association for more than 115,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language and hearing scientists. Their mission is to promote the interests of and the provide the highest quality services for professionals in audiology, speech-language pathology, and speech and hearing science, and to advocate for people with communication disabilities.
ASHA Resource page for parents
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