Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

Because Villa Maria recognizes the complexity of language comprehension and production, speech and language services are an integral part of the Villa Maria program. Every student benefits from one push-in session weekly in a language class. During these classes, our speech pathologists support the classroom curriculum and introduce strategies to develop oral expression and presentation skills. Teachers also learn language techniques from the speech pathologists that they can continue to apply to classroom instruction. The focus may involve working with grammar and parts of speech, understanding figurative language, essay writing, following directions, and social pragmatics, including developing conversation skills, eye contact, staying on topic, and identifying nonverbal cues.

Students who are identified as needing speech and language support receive additional instruction in pullout sessions. The speech pathologist individualizes instruction and concentrates on specific goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP and speech evaluation. Emphasis may be on articulation, visualizing, vocabulary, listening skills, memorization strategies, recalling details, identifying main ideas, answering comprehension questions or writing a summary paragraph.

Many students participate in an annual Storytelling Festival, in which students choose a story to retell in their own words. This program develops self-esteem, poise and confidence in speaking before a group, as well as strengthening listening and memorization skills . Participation in this storytelling event strengthens language and literacy skills and heightens appreciation of literature.

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