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Department Spotlight: Speech and Language Development

Speech Language Pathologist with a custom-designed vocabulary board May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, so what better time to highlight the wonderful work of our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)! DCIU SLPs are rising to the occasion in so many ways, not only in the month of May, but all year long.


This year, EI SLP, Margaret Chernela-Lyn was awarded a grant from the Delaware County Educational Foundation to establish a multilingual library at Folcroft Head Start. The creation of a multilingual lending library aligns with the DCIU’s vision to create dynamic and innovative solutions for families by providing them with resources to facilitate and promote language and literacy development. Many families face challenges and wish to participate in literacy and language opportunities for the betterment of their children. This library will help them reach their goals.


Providing resources for not only the children, but the families is a key goal as well. In March, Isabella Lavelle, EI SLP, began providing parent training for all of the families of students who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) as their primary or augmentative means of communication. Additionally, Alison Gerber and Michelle Graham have been collaborating to share a monthly speech and language resource for parents in Kathy Mignone’s autism support classrooms. The programs have been beneficial in helping parents, teachers, and students communicate.


Sometimes, our educators must work on a case by case basis. EI SLP, Kelly Lytle implemented a core board with fringe vocabulary for a student on her caseload who was not using functional communication at school. She now prompts herself independently on the core board to make some requests, comments, and protests using the core board with verbal or gestural prompts.


Speech therapy involves the pull out model to help students with articulation disorders including practicing sounds and motor speech patterns with traditional therapy and Prompt. Language therapy includes pull out for grammar instruction and receptive/expressive language practice. School-Age SLP, Lorraine Pierce shared various service delivery models in the DCIU Language Support Program. She runs a language station that includes books/stories and follow up activities, augmented with grammar activities. The students really enjoy it!


Our SLPs work incredibly hard to help students succeed and are an invaluable asset to the DCIU.


Learn more about the Speech and Language program