• Language Support Program

    At the preschool level, the Delaware County Intermediate Unit provides a classroom for students who demonstrate average cognitive ability, but exhibit significant delays in speech and language skills which require an intensive level of support.  The Early Intervention Language classroom is taught by a speech/language pathologist and a trained classroom assistant.  Additional services are provided to support the global development of the students as necessary. 

    At the school-age level, the DCIU provides instruction and diagnostic teaching within a specialized language support classroom to determine the extent to which elementary age children have speech or language disorders that impact language acquisition and the learning process. Children are referred by their home school districts for a three-month classroom experience. A comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation report is prepared that includes norm-referenced data, curriculum-based data, and the qualitative information necessary to obtain a complete picture of the child's learning style, strengths and needs.


    Language Issues Identified through the Diagnostic Teaching Process

    • Level of receptive language understanding;
    • Oral language competence, including articulation;
    • The impact of language difficulties upon academic learning in both small and large groups;
    • Learning styles of the child and specific areas of academic weaknesses;
    • Related service (for example, occupational therapy, physical therapy) support options to meet other potential needs of the child;
    • Determination of the level of intervention and identification of specific instructional techniques necessary for the child to make progress toward IEP goals;
    • Consultation and collaboration with family and school district regarding programs and/or services necessary to support the child in the educational setting. 

    For those students who demonstrate average cognition and are identified with a primary disability of Speech or Language Impairment that requires a highly specialized program that cannot be provided in a home district, DCIU offers elementary classrooms (K through 5th grade) to address the needs of students in the areas of language acquisition, comprehension and expression that are impacting access to curriculum. Taught by professionals with expertise in speech, language, and literacy development, the program focuses on academic skills, pragmatic skills with peers or others in the school environment, and inclusive practices. Students are guided in developing necessary language skills to enable transition to home schools as soon as the student is able.


    Christy Hiergeist, Program Supervisor
    (610) 938-9000 ext. 2277  |  chiergeist@dciu.org