Speech and Language Therapy Services
Communication is key. The ability to communicate is a right of every individual. We seek to provide every student the opportunity to communicate through their best means possible. As speech-language pathologists, we are clinicians, diagnosticians, teachers, and advocates who try to help your child reach their potential.
At Schramm Educational Center, core vocabulary is taught, utilized, modeled, and implemented throughout the day. Core vocabulary words are a set of high frequency words that can communicate a variety of meanings across contexts. Core vocabulary words are reusable and can be used throughout a student’s life. These words provide real communicative power when used as single words or combined with other words. Core vocabulary words can be combined to generate new utterances as well as perform a variety of communicative functions.
Core Vocabulary used at Schramm Educational Center:
More All done
Different I want
Core Vocabulary at Home
When can my child request “More”:
• During mealtimes
• Watching television
• Playing on an computer and/or iPad
• Reading a storybook
When can my child request “All done”:
• At mealtime
• When finished using the restroom
• During any play activity
• After finishing any chores or duties at home
• After reading the last page in a book
When can my child request “Help”:
• When getting dressed
• During a difficult task
• When an object is out of reach
• When turning items on and off
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems
Communication System (PECS)
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is one method of communication for individuals who are nonverbal. PECS teaches the basics of communication, which are initiation and response to with another person. PECS uses a hierarchical approach to teaching functional communication.
PECS Phase I: How to communicate-This phase teaches the individual to exchange an icon or picture in exchange for a highly preferred item. The importance of initiating communication is emphasized.
PECS Phase II: Distance and Persistence-This phase teaches the individual to travel to the communication partner and communication board in order to request a preferred item. This phase emphasizes the importance of continuing to attempt to communicate until the attempt is successful.
PECS Phase III: Picture Discrimination-This phase teaches the individual to discriminate or distinguish between icons. It emphasizes that each icon represents a specific item or action.
PECS Phase IV: Sentence Structure-This phase teaches the individual to use two or more icons to formulate a simple sentence. During this phase, the individual is taught to place icons onto a sentence strip and exchange the sentence strip with a communication partner.
Please see the Pyramid Educational Consultants website for more information.
An eye gaze system is a great alternative for children or adults who want and/or need to communicate, but whose speech and physical limitations make it difficult. Eye gaze boards allow individuals to locate an item or activity on their board by focusing their gaze on that item or icon. The communication partner then identifies the preferred item by paying attention to where the individual focused their gaze. Eye gaze boards can be low-tech or high-tech. Low-tech eye gaze boards can be fairly easy to make. They can be made with clear plastic materials or PVC pipe. It is important to use clear materials that allow for a clear view of the communication partners eye gaze.
Low tech communication devices allow for a single message up to 32 messages to be recorded. The messages are recorded for the individual. These devices allow for the individual to initiate social interaction with their communication partner from a distance. These devices can be accessed through direct selection by pressing on the specific button or through scanning. The most common low tech communication devices utilized at Schramm Educational Center are Big Macks, Step-by-Step Communicators, and Go Talk Communication devices.
High-tech communication devices can be any communication system that uses electronic messages, increased vocabulary through multiple pages, and communication via voice-output. Devices with voice output offer users the ability to initiate conversations from a distance. These systems may be devices that are used for AAC or can be operated through computer software that allow for AAC use, such as the iPad. High-tech devices vary in the amount of information that they can store, as well as their size, weight and portability. Access methods depend on the abilities of the user (i.e., selection of symbols with a body part, pointer, joystick or indirect selection using switches and scanning). High tech devices include, Dynavox Maestro, DynoVox Vmax, xPress, Proloquo2Go, Vintage Lite, Vanguard, and DeltaTalker.
Receptive language is the comprehension or understanding of words; demonstrated by pointing, showing or giving.
Receptive Language Hierarchy
Identify vocabulary and actions
Identify vocabulary based upon the function
Identify the function of an item
Identify an associated item
Pair associated items
Sort by basic categories
Identify item that belongs in a specific category
Identify the category an item belongs to
Identify the item that does not belong to a specific category
Identify an item that is similar based upon a given attribute
Identify attributes for a given item
Expressive language is the use of words; demonstrated by talking, writing, or drawing. Expressive language is DIFFERENT than speech production or “talking.” Speech production or talking is the use of the lips, teeth, and tongue to formulate individual speech sounds. This is different from the formation of thoughts expressed through the use of words.
Expressive Language Hierarchy
Label vocabulary and actions
State the function of items
State associated items
Label the category for a series of items
List items for a given category
State an item that does not belong in a given category
State the similarities between two items
State the differences between two items
State the attributes of a given item
Current Language Units
During the third quarter, food-related vocabulary is being emphasized. Games, books, and crafts are being used to teach and reinforce this vocabulary. These vocabulary words are often included in choice-making and following directions. Below are the specific vocabulary words being taught:
Food-related vocabulary can be reinforced throughout a student's day. Below are some examples of ways as well as some iPad apps to help incorporate this vocabulary into a student's day.
Meet the Therapists
Sarah Bartlett, SLP