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Professionals & Educators

Speech - Language Pathologist (SLP) at the EMSB

The speech-language pathologist’s primary role is to consult and collaborate with the school team in support of a student’s communication needs.  The SLP focuses on the area of language, literacy, social communication, stuttering, and speech.  Service delivery is primarily consultative in nature and encompasses prevention, assessment, and short-term focused intervention (for training purposes). After determining the student’s communication needs, the SLP develops programs, materials and strategies to promote optimal functioning in the relevant areas. This is to ensure that all concerned are meeting the student’s communication needs in a coordinated manner.

 

The field of speech-language pathology has been in existence for more than 100 years. Early on, practitioners worked primarily on speech difficulties, such as articulation and stuttering.  The profession has evolved tremendously since its beginnings and now SLPs are trained to work on a variety of areas relevant to communication.

 What is meant by “communication”? 

Communication encompasses a wide variety of areas, including the following:

  •   Speech (correct sound production, intelligibility in connected speech, fluency of
  •   speech/stuttering, etc.)
  •   Comprehension of language (receptive language)
  •   Expression of language (expressive language)
  •   Pragmatics (the use of language in everyday contexts)
  •   Literacy (reading and writing)

 

All SLPs hold Master’s degrees and are trained to work with a variety of age groups and communication challenges. All SLPs are required to be licensed by a professional order and are bound to a code of ethics. SLPs practice their profession in many different contexts, including schools, clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and in private practice.

School-based SLPs typically work with elementary students, but some also work with high school students. In Quebec, SLPs are mandated to prioritize students with severe receptive-expressive language disorders on their caseloads. These students are validated by the MEQ and assigned a handicapped code (Code 34). The ministry allocates funding so that school boards may allocate resources for these students.

 

Students coded 34 present with the following communication profile:

  • Moderate to severe receptive language delay; severe expressive language delay
  • Moderate receptive language difficulty and severe verbal dyspraxia

 

Some students coded 34 also present with speech disorders, and most present with literacy disorders. Students with oral language difficulties can be expected to exhibit difficulty with reading comprehension and written expression.

 

Why focus on students coded 34? 

The MEQ recognizes that students with this learning profile are at significant risk for academic failure. However, if they receive appropriate instructional interventions focused on building their communication skills and using compensatory strategies to get around their difficulties, these students have a good chance of acquiring the necessary credits to graduate from high school.

 

What about students who do not present with severe language disorders? Frequently, school SLPs receive referrals for students with speech disorders, literacy disorders, autism and other developmental disorders. It is necessary for SLPs to prioritize their caseloads based on many criteria, including (but not limited to):

  •   Severity of the disorder
  •   Effect of the disorder on the student’s academic and social functioning
  •   Prognosis
  •   Scheduling and caseload considerations

 

How can school SLPs best service the needs of students with communication challenges? 

The options for providing service delivery to school-age clientele are the following:

-    Consultative

-    Teacher collaboration and co-teaching

-    In-class intervention

-    Pull-out intervention

 

Many parents and educators believe that the traditional pull-out model of service delivery is the most effective. This is largely true for formal evaluation and in cases where highly specialized and focused intervention is required to work on specific communication goals. However, experts in the field now advocate a more flexible model whereby the location of service delivery is determined by the needs of the client at every stage of his/her intervention process, whether for evaluation or intervention.

 

Who decides? When it comes to speech and language intervention, the SLP alone has the expertise to identify the conditions that will optimize the student’s response to intervention. The client (if developmentally ready to participate in the decision-making process) should also have direct input into the decision.

Effective communication skills are most frequently required in the classroom, not in an office with an SLP. Teachers spend much more time in direct contact with students than do SLPs. Therefore, it is essential that educators and SLPs work collaboratively to identify goals, as well as to craft instructional methods and interventions, that will ensure that students are developing and using their communication skills where they are most likely to need it, in the classroom!

Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age

All children develop at their own rate and a child may not have all the skills until the end of the age range. 

 

Speech

The chart below shows the ages when most English-speaking children develop sounds. Children learning more than one language may develop some sounds earlier or later.

By 3 months

Makes cooing sounds

By 5 months

Laughs and makes playful sounds

By 6 months

Makes speech-like babbling sounds like puh, ba, mi, da

By 1 year

Babbles longer strings of sounds like mimi, upup, bababa

By 3 years

Says m, n, h, w, p, b, t, d, k, g, and f in words

Familiar people understand the child's speech

By 4 years

Says y and v in words

May still make mistakes on the s, sh, ch, j, ng, th, z, l, and r sounds

Most people understand the child’s speech

 

Language

One Year

  • Recognizes name
  • Says 2-3 words besides “mama” and “dada”
  • Imitates familiar words
  • Understands simple instructions
  • Recognizes words as symbols for objects: Car - points to garage, cat - meows

 

One to Two Years

  • Understands “no”
  • Uses 10 to 20 words, including names
  • Combines two words such as “daddy bye-bye”
  • Waves good-bye and plays pat-a-cake
  • Makes the “sounds” of familiar animals
  • Gives a toy when asked
  • Uses words such as “more” to make wants known
  • Points to his or her toes, eyes, and nose
  • Brings object from another room when asked

 

Two to Three Years

  • Identifies body parts
  • Carries on ‘conversation’ with self and dolls
  • Asks “what’s that?” And “where’s my?”
  • Uses 2-word negative phrases such as “no want”.
  • Forms some plurals by adding “s”; book, books
  • Has a 450 word vocabulary
  • Gives first name, holds up fingers to tell age
  • Combines nouns and verbs “mommy go”
  • Understands simple time concepts: “last night”, “tomorrow”
  • Refers to self as “me” rather than by name
  • Tries to get adult attention: “watch me”
  • Likes to hear same story repeated
  • May say “no” when means “yes”
  • Talks to other children as well as adults
  • Solves problems by talking instead of hitting or crying
  • Answers “where” questions
  • Names common pictures and things
  • Uses short sentences like “me want more” or “me want cookie”
  • Matches 3-4 colors, knows big and little

 

Three to Four Years

  • Can tell a story
  • Has a sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1000 words
  • Names at least one color
  • Understands “yesterday,” “summer”, “lunchtime”, “tonight”, “little-big”
  • Begins to obey requests like “put the block under the chair”
  • Knows his or her last name, name of street on which he/she lives and several nursery rhymes

 

Four to Five Years

  • Has sentence length of 4-5 words
  • Uses past tense correctly
  • Has a vocabulary of nearly 1500 words
  • Points to colors red, blue, yellow and green
  • Identifies triangles, circles and squares
  • Understands “In the morning” , “next”, “noontime”
  • Can speak of imaginary conditions such as “I hope”
  • Asks many questions, asks “who?” And “why?”

 

Five and Six

  • Has a sentence length of 5-6 words
  • Has a vocabulary of around 2000 words
  • Defines objects by their use (you eat with a fork) and can tell what objects are made of
  • Knows spatial relations like “on top”, “behind”, “far” and “near”
  • Knows her address
  • Identifies a penny, nickel and dime
  • Knows common opposites like “big/little”
  • Understands “same” and “different”
  • Counts ten objects
  • Asks questions for information
  • Distinguished left and right hand in herself
  • Uses all types of sentences, for example “let’s go to the store after we eat”

1.Early Literacy guide: 

This resource was created to guide K4 and K5 teachers on how to best stimulate early literacy skills in students, according to the research in the area of early literacy within the realm of the science of reading.

This resource provides information and activities for:

  • Each of the phonological awareness skills to be explicitly taught in K4 and K5
  • Alphabet knowledge, and sound-letter correspondence for K5 
 

English: https://bit.ly/3smM8Uu 

French: https://bit.ly/397JdIy

 

2.Social Emotional Language Kit:

Putting Emotions into Words; supporting the social emotional wellbeing of students through language skills.

 

The Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development has provided kits containing books, activities, and materials to support students in understanding and expressing their emotions.  All Core English and Bilingual schools and most French Immersion schools have already received their kits to be shared amongst their K4 and K5 classes. Kits at the CoE are available to be lent out to other school boards. Please click on the link below to view a brief explanation and demonstration of the contents of the kit.

 

SEL Presentation

Passcode: x0M%.VmB

 

Activity Guide

Description of the kit

Innovative Literacy Strategies-CoE PIM & CoE SLD


This resource is a comprehensive set of strategies developed collaboratively by professionals working with the CoE PIM and CoE SLD. It is designed to develop shared reading & writing strategies for students who have increased support needs, knowing that these students can progress towards becoming readers and writers with the appropriate support and opportunities.

ESCALADE Program is an intervention program for adolescents with a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) designed to help improve their language, communication, socialization and planning skills, as well as their self-awareness in relation to DLD.

Neurodiversity-Affirming Practices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rachel Dorsey, M.Sc, CCC-SLP, Autistic SLP

May, 19, 2023

This presentation will examine autism and therapy practices for Autistic clients through a nuanced lens that is both neurodiversity-affirming and clinician-affirming. Therapy practices will be examined regarding social communication, cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation, and self-advocacy in a range of settings targeting self-advocacy and regulation, and fostering meaningful social connections for Autistic students.

 

With the rise of Autistic advocacy reaching education and healthcare fields, SLPs are starting to shift their practice towards neurodiversity-affirming practice. However, SLPs are now faced with the task of integrating neurodiversity-affirming practices with the knowledge they’ve gained from their own education and clinical experience.

 

Unlocking Sentences: A method for teaching sentence-level reading comprehension

Bonnie Singer, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

April 2022

Problems with syntax are common in students who struggle with language. They need to know how sentences are built to understand what they read. Sentence comprehension is measurably influenced by working memory, and students with a variety of language and learning challenges present with working memory limitations. As such, these students are at high risk for academic difficulty in reading.

This workshop presents methods for teaching sentence-level comprehension that explicitly support working memory. We will cover four sentence types and four grammatical concepts, outlining new approaches for direct instruction and curriculum-based intervention. Applied practice with concepts presented will be provided.

 

Supporting Literacy and Academic Learning in Students with DLD in the Classroom

Lisa Archibald, Ph.D, SLP

January 2022

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is a spectrum disorder because it affects several related language skills with affected skills differing in severity and combination across individuals. About half of those with DLD can be expected to also have dyslexia, which refers to difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word reading. Broadly speaking, dyslexia and DLD can be considered to correspond to difficulties with the Simple View of Reading’s two components, word recognition and language comprehension, respectively. Children with DLD and dyslexia require explicit, systematic, intense, and targeted learning opportunities. In this talk, we will consider how to create the best language and literacy learning opportunities for these children in the classroom. The greater focus will be on evidence-based SLP-educator classroom collaboration for supporting children with DLD.

 

Meeting Students’ Reading, Writing and Spelling Challenges: It takes a team

Kenn Apel, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

March 2019

The success of students’ academic, vocational, and social endeavors often hinges on their reading, writing, and spelling abilities. This workshop will take an integrative look at how educators and specialists can provide instruction/intervention to improve students’ literacy skills. Understanding the spoken and linguistic awareness skills that support reading, writing, and spelling helps these professionals targe the specific needs of students who struggle in their literacy skills. The workshop will provide a review of reading , writing, and spelling development followed by specific guidelines and suggestions for assessment, instruction, and remediation.

 

Learn it Today – Use it Tomorrow! Practical Strategies to Improve Executive Function Skills

Sarah Ward, M.S. CCC-SLP

April 2018

This workshop provided a detailed understanding and foundation of the executive function skills for immediate use in home, school and clinical settings. Going beyond symptom management these skills are guaranteed to improve executive functioning for more independent and less stressful living. You will leave this seminar with an increased competency as well as many new tools for your tool box including client resources.

2023 ASHA Convention
November 16-18, 2023, 
Boston Massachusetts

The theme of this year’s American Speech, Language and Hearing (ASHA) Annual Convention is “Igniting Innovation”. Please visit www.asha.org for detailed information.

2023 Annual IDA Conference

October 12-14, 2023

Columbus, Ohio

The theme of this year’s International Dyslexia Association Conference is “Reading, Literacy and Learning”.  Please visit www.dyslexiaida.org for detailed information.
Meeting Students’ Reading, Writing and Spelling Challenges: It takes a team

Kenn Apel, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

March 2019

The success of students’ academic, vocational, and social endeavours often hinges on their reading, writing, and spelling abilities. This workshop will take an integrative look at how educators and specialists can provide instruction/intervention to improve students’ literacy skills. Understanding the spoken and linguistic awareness skills that support reading, writing, and spelling helps these professionals targe the specific needs of students who struggle in their literacy skills. The workshop will provide a review of reading , writing, and spelling development followed by specific guidelines and suggestions for assessment, instruction, and remediation.

Supporting Literacy and Academic Learning in Students with DLD in the Classroom

Lisa Archibald, Ph.D, SLP

January 2022

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is a spectrum disorder because it affects several related language skills with affected skills differing in severity and combination across individuals. About half of those with DLD can be expected to also have dyslexia, which refers to difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word reading. Broadly speaking, dyslexia and DLD can be considered to correspond to difficulties with the Simple View of Reading’s two components, word recognition and language comprehension, respectively. Children with DLD and dyslexia require explicit, systematic, intense, and targeted learning opportunities. In this talk, we will consider how to create the best language and literacy learning opportunities for these children in the classroom. The greater focus will be on evidence-based SLP-educator classroom collaboration for supporting children with DLD.

Unlocking Sentences: A method for teaching sentence-level reading comprehension

Bonnie Singer, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

April 2022

Problems with syntax are common in students who struggle with language. They need to know how sentences are built to understand what they read. Sentence comprehension is measurably influenced by working memory, and students with a variety of language and learning challenges present with working memory limitations. As such, these students are at high risk for academic difficulty in reading.

This workshop presents methods for teaching sentence-level comprehension that explicitly support working memory. We will cover four sentence types and four grammatical concepts, outlining new approaches for direct instruction and curriculum-based intervention. Applied practice with concepts presented will be provided.

Michelle Sasson, M.H.Sc., S-LP

Michelle Sasson is a Speech-Language Pathologist that has experience working in many different settings, with diverse populations. Her undergraduate degree was completed at McGill University in Honours Cognitive Science. She then earned her master’s degree in Health Sciences at the University of Toronto, specializing in Speech-Language Pathology. Michelle is a certified member of the Ordre des Orthophonistes et Audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ). She now works with school-aged children at the English Montreal School Board (EMSB), and helps them develop their speech, language, literacy, and more. Michelle is the newest team member of the Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development.

Amanda Hajaly, M.H.Sc., S-LP

Amanda Hajaly is a speech and language pathologist and a certified member of the Ordre des Orthophonistes et des Audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ). Her undergraduate studies were completed at Concordia University where she obtained two bachelor of arts degrees in Honours Linguistics and in Psychology. She then earned her master’s in Health Sciences, specializing in Speech-Language Pathology, at the University of Ottawa. She is a bilingual (French/English) speech therapist at the English Montreal School Board. She continues to develop her expertise as one of the team members for the Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development.

Razan Khobieh, M.Sc.A, SLP-(c)

Razan Khobieh is a Speech-Language Pathologist at the English Montréal School Board. She has over 14 years of experience working in various settings and with diverse populations. She has earned her undergraduate degree in Honours Linguistics and a minor in Education at Concordia University, while her graduate degree in Communication Disorders  was completed at McGill University.  Razan is a certified member of the  Ordre des Orthophonistes et Audiologistes du Québec (OOAQ).  She is also certified in Hanen Parent Training Program, Lexercise (Structured Literacy) , and Lidcombe (Stuttering Program). Razan is one of the coordinators for the Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development.

Karina Ismail, M.Sc.(A), S-LP

Karina is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist who greatly values inclusive practices favouring an approach of professional openness and equity, for all – across neurodiverse, multicultural and multilingual contexts. Today, she brings her expertise and advocacy to different professional tables. She is a member of the OOAQ’s EDI (Equity Diversity Inclusion) task force, has joined the Ministère de l’Éducation (MEQ) Direction de Soutien aux Milieux Scolaires et Partenaires de l’Éducation (DSMSPE) Team, and is a RADLD Canada National committee member. She has had the pleasure to be a coordinator at the Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development, as well as hold the role of ASRSE (Agente des Services Régionaux de Soutien et d’Expertise) – MEQ, since 2018.

Carol Jazzar, M.Sc., S-LP

Carol Jazzar has been a speech-language pathologist working in various educational settings for more than 35 years. She is presently a speech-language pathologist at the English Montreal School Board. Her undergraduate degree was earned at McGill University in the areas of Developmental Psychology and Linguistics, while her  graduate degree in Communication Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology) was earned at Boston University. Carol  has  been a coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Speech and Language Development since 2001.