Down syndrome is one of the most common causes of intellectual disability. An intellectual disability is a disability that greatly affects mental abilities and adaptive behavior. Mental abilities include learning, reasoning, planning, problem solving, and so on. Adaptive behavior includes everyday skills needed to live, work, and interact with others in the community.

Selective mutism is an infrequent childhood communication disorder that often first manifests itself at school. A child with selective mutism may not be able to speak with teachers and/or peers at school, however, is able to speak fluently with parents and siblings at home. School based speech language pathologists (SLPs) often are the first consulted when a child does not speak at school. This article discusses the definition of selective mutism, characteristics, etiology, and the role of SLPs in assessment and treatment as a part of an interdisciplinary team.                    

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work in schools have the opportunity to provide therapeutic services through a variety of service delivery models. A service delivery model can be understood as an orderly arrangement of resources with the purpose of meeting a specific educational goal (Cirrin et al., 2010). It specifies “where, when, and with whom the intervention takes place” (Paul & Norbury, 2012, p. 88). The four main types of service delivery models discussed in this article include: 1) pull-out model, 2) push-in model, 3) consultant model, and 4) response to intervention (RTI) model.

Co-Created Curriculum: Motivating Students Using their Interests

"I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of creating and using materials that are specific to the interests of the kids that I serve. With that in mind, I decided that the next step wasn’t to keep repurposing materials that may or may not still be engaging or culturally relevant for our kids. Instead, I decided to ask them what they would want to do if they could make a game. The first answer that I got, of course, was a blank stare.

Who Wants Speech Forever?

Lifers are different. They are the students that the SLP is not offering a skilled service to. In the school system, a student must meet a few predetermined levels, one being an adverse affect on their grades and that direct services from an SLP would be significantly different than the teaching in the classroom. 

Caseload or Workload, That is the Question....

Given the ever expanding role of the SLP in the district, there needs to be a solid push to move to the workload model. The push must come from families of students and the professionals themselves. SLPs are expected to serve a widening population. We must do this and provide the students with the amount of therapy that is to be determined by their need, not by the amount of students on the caseload.

Voucher Program: Positive or Negative for Special Ed?

Typically they were reserved for low-income students or students with disabilities.  The voucher or scholarship is good for what the state would have paid for the student to attend his or her home district.  If the state gives your district $7,000 per year then you would get the $7,000 to use for education at a location of your choice.