LET'S COMMUNICATE! - SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST'S ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNICATION

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     Cheryl Wascher

    Speech-Language Pathologist

    Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year. Although this is my third year as a Randolph employee, I have worked in the district in different capacities as a speech-language pathologist for 25 years. Previously, I was employed by Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES providing shared speech-language services in several districts in Cattaraugus County, including Randolph, where the majority of my time was assigned.

    I received a BS in Education for the Speech and Hearing Handicapped  in 1981 and my MS in Speech-Language Pathology in 1982, both from SUNY Fredoinia.

    My husband Steve and I have two sons. Andrew is a sophomore at Alfred University and Lee is a junior at Maple Grove High School.

    I hope that my experience as a speech pathologist and as a parent, having to make some very different and sometimes tough educational decisions for my own children, can be of help to you.

     

    Contact Information:

    Phone: 716-358-3985, ext. 4011

    Email: cwascher@rand.wnyric.org

     

     

    WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?

    Communication is defined as an interchange or imparting of thoughts, opinions and/or information through the use of verbal speech, writing or signs and symbols.

     

    ROLE OF THE SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:

    The role of the speech-language pathologist is to address specific individual needs of children or adults in order for them to become effective communicators. Various areas to be addressed could be articulation skills, swallowing, language development (vocabulary, receptive and expressive language), fluency, voice , auditory processing, pragmatics, hearing impairment and literacy skills. Listed below are some brief definitions and/or descriptions of each of these areas.

     

    Articulation: the production of speech sounds.

    Fluency: the smoothness with which sounds and words flow together while speaking.

    Voice: the pitch, loudness or overall voice quality of someone's speech.

    Vocabulary: knowledge of the meanings of words, how they relate to each other and using them to make meaningful sentences.

    Receptive language : derive meaning (comprehension) from spokenmessages 

    Expressive language: ability to use vocabulary and grammatical structures in sentences and organize verbal thoughts.

    Swallowing: process of passing liquids and solids from the mouth to the throat to the stomach

    Hearing: the sense through which spoken language is received

    Auditory processing: how information is perceived, stored, organized and retrieved. This requires that a person be able to attend to, compare, recognize and attach meaning to auditory information. It is what the brain does with what you hear!

    Pragmatic/social language: our use of skills that allows us to have   conversations with other people. Some of these skills include: knowing how to initiate and stop topics, taking turns while  speaking and making eye contact.

    Literacy: skills that allow us to link sounds to print for decoding words, attaching meaning to the printed word and knowing what we say or read, we can write. The five components of literacy are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabualry and comprehension.