In the public school setting, a specialist who works with students with communication disorders may be referred to as the speech therapist, speech/language therapist, speech teacher, speech pathologist, speech/language pathologist, or teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped.  Their duties include......

  • acting as a resource person to parents, administrators and teachers
  • evaluating children to assess communication skill development
  • diagnosing speech/language problems that may interfere with a child’s academic success
  • writing diagnostic reports which (1) highlight student strengths and weaknesses in speech/language, (2) explain how deficits may affect learning, (3) give recommendations for intervention, and (4) suggest strategies to facilitate success in the classroom
  • meeting with parents and teachers to review and interpret test results, determine eligibility for speech/language services, and develop IEP's (Individualized Educational Programs)
  • Working cooperatively with other professional staff members who are involved in the educational programming of students with speech/language impairments.
  • making appropriate referrals to other professionals (e.g. child advocate team, school nurse, ENT doctor, family physician, audiologist.)      
  • Designing and providing speech/language therapy to students one-on-one or in small groups, serving a caseload of up to 65 students in one or more schools
  • Providing staff training in areas related to speech and language