The following is a list of questions parents may have regarding the Speech and/or Language process, procedures, and services available at the Stephen August Early Intervention Center at Darcey School.  In addition, there is a developmental chart to refer to regarding the acquisition of sounds and some tips on communicating with your youngster.

What if I have concerns about my child’s speech and language development?  How do I go about having her speech screened?

Parent Center Procedures

The Parent Center is designed to provide support, give suggestions, and to conduct screenings. Parents come to the center with specific questions and concerns about their child’s development. Screenings are conducted by a Speech/Language Pathologist by observing the child at play and by obtaining information provided by the parents.

The following guidelines and procedures outline the steps that the Parent Center staff will provide.

Referral to Parent Center

    • Parents may contact the Center with specific concerns about their child’s speech and language development. Parents are invited to attend the center with their child.
    • A pediatrician may recommend a speech screening or evaluation.
    • Nursery School director or teacher may recommend a Parent Center visit.

Parent Center

    • The parent and child attend the parent center and share their concerns about the development of their child’s speech and language with the staff.
    • The Speech/Language Pathologist conducts a speech screening while engaged in play activities with the child.

Speech Screening

    • A speech screening may include one of the following: a speech sample, a speech screening of targeted sounds and words, and/or family, medical, and/or school information.

What will occur after my child’s speech has been screened?

Parent Center Follow-Up

Following a Speech Screening One of The Following May Be Recommended

    • If a child’s speech is determined to be delayed but developmental in nature (needing more time to develop sounds and patterns) suggestions and activities are given to the parent to try at home and parents may want to check back in 3-4 months with the Center.
    • A child’s speech may be monitored by having the child return to the Parent Center for a period of time.
    • A nursery school visit to observe the child may be recommended to determine if speech difficulties are affecting learning and/or communication with peers.
    • Remedial (non-mandated) speech services may be provided to help the child with minor speech sound substitutions.
    • A formal speech evaluation may be recommended.

Speech Evaluation

    • If a formal speech evaluation is recommended, a Planning and Placement Team meeting will be held to obtain permission to test.
    • Your child may be recommended for a speech/language assessment through a Consultation Center assessment or;
    • A standardized speech/language evaluation is conducted by the Speech/Language Pathologist.

What if my child is recommended for a speech and/or language evaluation?

In some cases when a child has been recommended for a Speech/Language evaluation by the Planning and Placement Team a Consultation Center assessment or formal standardized testing is conducted.

Consultation Center

A Consultation Assessment is a play based assessment consisting of a team of professionals who observe and record a child’s developmental skills. This model examines the child’s development, learning style and interaction patterns. The team of professionals could consist of a school psychologist, speech/ language pathologist, occupational therapist, special education teacher, and/or school administrator. The parents of the child report developmental history and concerns to a specified team member. In some instances they may observe the assessment through a one-way mirror. Once the assessment is complete the team discusses with the parents its results to determine eligibility for Special Education.

Standardized Assessment

A standardized assessment is comprised of specific speech and/or language tests that yield standard scores that have been normed on children according to their age. Such tests are administered individually to a child. This may occur over several prearranged appointments and permission to test must be agreed to by parent(s) at an initial Planning and Placement Team meeting.

All results and recommendations are then shared at a scheduled follow-up Planning and Placement Team meeting.

What programs are available at Darcey School if my child is recommended for speech/language therapy?

Kindergarten students identified with a speech and/or language disability will receive therapy by the Speech/Language Pathologist during some portion of their school day per the Planning and Placement Team recommendations at a time(s) chosen and agrred upon by the classroom teacher.

The Early Intervention Center (EIC) provides specialized services to children between the ages of 3 and 6 who have been identified with more than one special need, including speech and language disabilities.  The philosophy of the Darcey School EIC is to provide a multitude of services to these children in a play based environment with their typically developing peers.  The Speech/Language Pathologist is a member of the EIC’s  transdisciplinary team.  His/her role within the EIC classrooms includes making clinical observations, fostering peer social relationships by getting to know all of the children in class, supporting and training staff/family in speech/language therapeutic strategies, and providing therapy with on-going assessment to those children with speech/language disabilities.

Other Speech & Language Services

If you child has been deemed eligible for speech and/or language therapy by the Planning and Placement Team but not within the EIC (Early Intervention Center) program he may be recommended for one of the following:

    • A once a week SPEECH/LANGUAGE GROUP that provides speech and language therapy by a Speech and Language Pathologist is available to children diagnosed with only a speech and/or language delay or disorder.  Therapy is provided to a small group of children within a play based environment focusing on 1.) improved sound acquisition for increased intelligibility; 2.) language usage for improved communication and socialization; and 3.) auditory comprehension and processing skills for pre-K skills enrichment.
    • Other arrangements for therapy (Walk-in) maybe recommended by the Planning and Placement Team at your child’s meeting if the Speech/ Language Group is not recommended or if the child is unavailable to attend the Speech/Language Group.

Is my child’s sound development age appropriate?

Many parents wonder if their child is developing speech sounds along developmental norms.
The following information is from a journal article titled “When Are Speech Sounds Learned?” by Eric Sanders(1972).
The chronological age of acquisition listed still hold true today.

What are some ways I can encourage my child to communication?

Encouraging Communication: What You Can Do

The following is a list of ways you can help your child to communicate.

    • Play with your child: comment/model about an activity try to avoid questioning them; instead comment  “I see you have your train. I hear that train. It says choo-choo.”
    • Name and Describe: help your child name things or describe them while out walking, shopping in the supermarket, working in the kitchen, etc.
    • Read and Discuss: choose a book of interest and talk about what is going on. Ask simple questions such as “Where is the bear? or Can you find the truck?” Provide opportunities for your child to read to you.  Or after many readings you may want to miss a page or add something inaccurate to the story and wait for your child’s reaction. React if he realizes your error.
    • Imitate and Expand:  repeat what your child has said and expand on it; for example: your child hands you his juice box and says “open” you respond “Please open my juice box.”
    • Discuss a TV Show/DVD: talk about what is going on in the show or movie. Keep it simple “Oh, Dora is climbing the ladder.”
    • Listen to Music: listen to and sing favorite children’s songs. Repetition is a good thing!
    • Play Word Games: I’m going on a picnic,  name board categories, for example,  toys or foods, etc.
    • Avoid open-ended Questions: avoid questions such as “Tell me about your day?” or “What did you do at ______ (nursery school/daycare) today?” Instead be specific , for example, “Did you draw or paint today?’ or “Did you play at the play doh table?” or “Here are some markers what would you like to draw?” (You can always provide some choices i.e.: a house or kite.)

Source: “It Takes Two to Talk” by Ayala Manolsen
You can contact Darcey School or e-mail a Speech/Language Pathologist for more ways to facilitate child communication skills.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

Please contact us at Darcey School at (203) 272-3343 or email us at: