Spotlight on Speech!

April 04, 2017
Speech and Language Therapy.

Many of us think of it as learning to say our /s/ sound correctly, or making an accurate /th/ sound.

Articulation is certainly part of speech and language therapy. But most of the students who come through the doors at Crossroads actually need help learning to use speech and language in the first place. Learning to “mand” or communicate wants and needs is one of the earliest forms of communication, along with “tacting,” or labeling what we see around us.

Learning to point to items or pictures, to make eye contact with others that we can get our needs met through, these are skills that are “typically” learned developmentally, yet so often times in children with developmental disabilities are not gained incidentally at all.  Our children can learn speech and language skills, when they are taught, step by step.

Using techniques and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, our Speech-Language Therapists and Pathologists work every minute of their days with kids; indeed they are busy. Whether in small groups or individual sessions, kids here at Crossroads work on anything and everything from pointing to a requested picture in an array, to answering questions about a story.

They can work on following instructions, such as get the tissues, or sit in the red chair, or look at me, or asking permission to feed the fish or get a toy.


Students can work on turn-taking with peers and telling each other that it’s the peer’s turn. Some might work on retelling events from a story, picking the item that goes with a picture, or telling someone else about a picture.


Some work on understanding idioms, or using pronouns, while other children are making connections from pictures to have a conversation.

Students do work on articulation skills here also, but often there are prerequisite skills that should be met first. Many students are taught to communicate using the Picture Exchange Communication System, (PECS). There are several stages for PECS learning, and children using PECS might be working on very different objectives from one another, yet it is the Speech-Language Therapist or Pathologist, in conjunction with the child’s classroom team, who sets up the materials, the actual icons, the PECS book, and who practices the skills with the child instructionally, each on an individual basis.

Crossroads Center for Children’s Speech-Language Therapists and Pathologists are the most excellent therapists in the field, as is our Director of Related Services. 

Thank you Carolyn, Kim, Kelly, Mary, Melanie, and Christina, for all you do for the children and families of Crossroads Center for Children.

Read more about our Speech and Language Therapy department:

Happenings!Happenings! Reading Buddies with Tugg.