Speech and Language Therapy
Because Villa Maria recognizes the complexity of language comprehension and production, speech and language services are an integral part of the Villa Maria program. Every student benefits from one push-in session weekly in a language class. During these classes, our speech pathologists support the classroom curriculum and introduce strategies to develop oral expression and presentation skills. The focus may involve working with grammar and parts of speech, understanding figurative language, essay writing, following directions, and pragmatics, including developing conversation skills, eye contact, maintaining topic, and identifying nonverbal cues.
Students who are identified as speech and language impaired receive additional instruction in pullout sessions. The speech pathologist individualizes instruction and concentrates on specific goals and objectives identified in each student’s IEP and speech evaluation. Emphasis may be on articulation, visualizing vocabulary and listening passages, learning memorization strategies, recalling details, identifying main idea, answering comprehension questions and writing a summary paragraph.
Junior high students participate in an annual Storytelling Festival, in which students choose a story to retell in their own words. This program develops self-esteem, poise and confidence in speaking before a group, as well as listening and memorization. It strengthens language development and literacy skills and heightens appreciation of literature. The speech pathologists conduct additional classes with junior high students focusing on math vocabulary, notetaking skills, analyzing document based questions and writing a document based questions essay.
Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum, Mindwing’s Story Grammar Marker, Lindamood Bell’s Visualizing and Verbalizing are a few of the programs used to support instruction.