Back: Michelle Swiderski, Kara Grady, John Thongs, Lacey Howard, Shannon Safford, Nancy Forstbauer, Jennifer Cody
Front: Mary Cox, Kathy Broten, Stephanie Church, Kathy Jones, Chris Guy
CO-SER 305 – Speech Improvement
Therapists deal with a broad range of communication difficulties including, but not limited to:
- language delays
- auditory processing
These problems fall into the slight to moderate range of difficulties. This category is generally used for students who do not meet CSE criteria. (See CO-SER 315)
CO-SER 315 – Speech/Language, Severe
This service includes diagnosis, program planning and implementation, as well as consultation.
Our speech and language therapists serve pupils with a wide range of communication problems including:
- phonological process disorders
- hearing impairments
- phonemic awareness
- pragmatics/social communication/social skills
- oral motor skills for feeding/swallowing
Referral: A child may be referred for evaluation by parents, classroom teacher, or other related service providers. This referral is made to the pupil’s home school Committee on Special Education (CSE).
Evaluation: Speech therapists then use a number of assessment methods including observation, standardized tests, and informal assessments in order to determine whether a speech or language problem is present. Results are then reported to the Committee on Special Education, along with specific recommendations for therapy and program. With CSE approval, therapy is initiated and IEPs are developed within thirty days stating the therapeutic treatment, goals, objectives, etc. Progress reports are made quarterly to the parents and the Committee on Special Education.
Additional information: The speech therapists in our BOCES are excellent, and are especially well trained and experienced in working with students who have speech and language difficulties such as articulation problems, phonological process disorders, and understanding and use of language. Most therapists have also been more specifically trained in the areas of autism, phonemic awareness, augmentative communication, fluency, or voice disorders, to name a few specialty areas. Much of this specific training is acquired through continuing education courses and workshops. Both New York State and ASHA require that speech pathologists accumulate thirty continuing education credits every three years in order to maintain their licenses and certification.
Every year our therapists attend courses and workshops designed to increase their knowledge of and treatment for disorders in their field. These workshops and conferences may address such issues as augmentative communication, apraxia, autism, phonemic sequencing, and stuttering. Most of the BOCES therapists have also had very specific trining in LiPs (phonemic sequencing) and VV (Visualizing and Verbalizing). This ongoing continuing education is sometimes provided by BOCES, through in-house or local workshops, or supported by BOCES through outside workshops and conferences.