Speech pathologists play a significant role in supporting students with SLDs, and may provide services at any and all stages of the identification and therapeutic process.


Many schools engage speech pathologists in conducting language and literacy screening in the early years, to identify students who would benefit from further assessment of their academic and/or communication skills. As speech pathologists are skilled in conducting thorough assessments of language and literacy skills using valid and reliable measures; they are able to diagnose language disorders, and may contribute to the diagnosis of SLDs through formal assessment of a student’s literacy skills, and liaison with a psychologist, who can assess the child’s cognitive functioning.

Furthermore, speech pathologists can provide targeted and specific intervention to bolster language and literacy skills and facilitate increased classroom engagement for students language and literacy difficulties. Speech pathologists monitor progress to determine response to intervention and adjust therapy accordingly. Finally, a speech pathologist can play an important role in advocating for the needs of students with language and literacy difficulties and disorders across academic and social contexts. As such, they have the potential to contribute to changes in policy, paving an easier path for individuals with language and literacy needs in social systems.

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