PRESCHOOL SPEECH/LANGUAGE SERVICES
Once a preschool child is referred to the Spearfish School District with a speech/language concern, an early childhood developmental screening is conducted to determine if a speech and language evaluation is necessary, and if any other areas, such as concept skills and motor skills, need to be evaluated. When the speech and language evaluation is completed, a meeting is held with the family to determine if the child meets the South Dakota eligibility requirements for speech/language services. If so, an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed for children between the ages of birth to 3 years, and an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed for children 3 years of age and older (see below for more IEP information). For children ages birth to 3 years, the service provider is determined at the meeting. For those children 3 years of age on up, therapy is provided through the school district.
Children, between the ages of birth to 3 years, typically receive speech/language services in the childís natural environment. This is most often the childís home, but may also include the childís daycare center. Once a child turns 3 years of age, services are provided in the school setting. In the Spearfish School District, preschool-aged children may receive speech/language services as part of their early intervention preschool program, or they may come to the school for speech/language services only.
All of these services are provided at no cost to the family.
KINDERGARTEN - 2ND SPEECH/LANGUAGE SERVICES
Speech/language services can be a primary disability or a related service on a childís Individual Education Plan (IEP). A child who is suspected of having difficulties with articulation, voice, fluency, language, or auditory skills is referred to the districtís teacher assistance team or the speech/language pathologist. A meeting is then held with the parents to discuss the studentís strengths and weaknesses, and specifically, the areas of concern. The decision to refer for an evaluation is a Ďteamí decision. Parent(s) are members of the team and their input is invaluable in the process. If it is decided that an evaluation is warranted, the school then has 25 school days to complete the evaluation. After the evaluation, school personnel meet again with the parent(s) and discuss the results. It is at this time that the decision is made whether or not the child is eligible for services based on South Dakota State Guidelines for Speech/Language Eligibility. If eligible, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is written specifically for the needs of the child. The team decides what services are warranted, where the services will occur (pullout or inclusion), what the goals and objectives are, modifications/accommodations needed, and the amount of time needed to accomplish these goals. Other factors considered are: need for hearing aid maintenance, Braille, or special communication considerations; use of assistive technology; behavior issues; if modifications are needed for district testing; adaptive physical education needs; transportation; need for extended school year; and the potential harmful effects of making the placement. Individual Education Plans must be reviewed at least on an annual basis.