Speech pathologists are specialists in speech and language – both of which are very important ingredients for success in the classroom. Literacy, oral language, written expression, and comprehension are all areas in which speech pathologists can work with a primary school child.
For example, if a child has trouble with producing speech sounds, this may impact on her ability to accurately sound-out and spell words. If a child has difficulty with his receptive language (i.e. understanding language), he may have trouble following the instructions given to him by his teacher.
Similarly, children with autism spectrum disorder have trouble with using language in a social way – making conversation, using jokes and idioms, negotiating, etc. – and speech pathologists can work with these children to help them better navigate the social side of school.
Getting in early is key. Speech Pathologists are able to offer “screening” sessions for new prep students, to check for any signs that further assessment or assistance might be required to help them thrive in the school environment. Heading into Term 4 is an ideal time to do this ahead of school entry, so there is still time to work on anything that comes up!
Speech Pathologists working in primary schools strive to support the work that teachers perform in the classroom in order to see children achieve their full potential. Collaborating with teachers on goals and strategies for children needing extra help is a key part of this. Using in-class support, group therapy, or one-to-one intervention, we work to develop the speech and language skills of children from prep right through to the end of grade 6 (the fun doesn’t stop there, though! You will also find Speech Pathologists supporting students in high schools, too).
If you have a child beginning prep, you may like to think about booking in a School Readiness check up to assess for school readiness. We can work together to identify if there are any extra needs your child might have in regard to supporting their learning, and to help them hit the ground running when they start their prep year.