Special Education » Speech and Language

Speech and Language

The Punxsutawney Area School District provides speech-language support for students who are eligible and demonstrate a need. Students who qualify are at risk for articulation, fluency, voice, language, communication, swallowing and related disabilities. The district employs highly qualified speech-language pathologists who are professionally trained in prevention, identification, assessment, evaluation, eligibility determination, IEP development, caseload management, intervention, counseling, re-evaluation, transition and dismissal for students with language, articulation/phonology, fluency, voice/resonance or swallowing disorders. Speech-language pathologists also provide services to students in related disability categories including intellectual disability; emotional disturbance; multiple disabilities; hearing, orthopedic, visual, or other health impairments; autism; deaf-blindness; and traumatic brain injury. In addition to engaging in activities to reduce or prevent communication disabilities, the speech-language pathologists counsel and educate families about these disorders and their management.

Knowing that language is the foundation for learning within all academic subjects speech-language support services:

• focus on the students’ needs, which drives the team decision making
• help the students maximize their communication skills to support learning
• include comprehensive assessment and thorough evaluations which provide information for appropriate eligibility, intervention, and dismissal decisions
• remediate, improve, or alleviate student communication problems within the educational environment
• focus on students’ abilities, rather than disabilities in an individual or small group setting
• use intervention plans, which are consistent with current research and practice.

Ultimately, the speech-language pathologist’s purpose in addressing communication and related disorders is to effect functional and measurable change in a student’s communication status so that the student may participate as fully as possible in all aspects of life—educational, social, and vocational.