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Speech and Language Therapy

The role of a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), also known as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), is to identify, evaluate and treat speech, language and communication problems in individuals of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. Strong emphasis is placed on multi-disciplinary team liaison and close collaboration with parents, teachers, learning support, therapists and other communication partners. This practice offers the best support options for students with communication difficulties and encourages carry-over of communication in all of the student’s environments.

SLPs assist students who present with:

  • Speech Difficulties:
    articulating sounds, producing words; using augmentative/alternative communication systems (sign language, pictures symbols, voice output computers); speaking fluently (stuttering, cluttering, rhythm).
  • Language Difficulties:
    understanding language/following directions; expressing language (learning/retrieving words, constructing sentences or expressing ideas, wants, needs); auditory memory for words, sentences and conversation speech; awareness of sounds and sound combinations (phonological awareness); understanding written language; reading and writing abilities.
  • Social Communication Difficulties:
    understanding/using non-verbal language (gestures, eye contact); communicating in social situations (taking turns in conversations); cognitive communication (reasoning, problem-solving, memory, narrative organization).
  • Voice and Resonance Difficulties:
    voice quality (hoarse/breathy/strident), voice resonance (hyper/hyponasal); voice pitch/volume (too high/too low, too loud/too soft); loss of voice; laryngectomy.
  • Oral-Motor, Feeding, and Swallowing Disorders:
    weakness in the muscles used for talking and eating; drooling; swallowing solids, soft foods or liquids; chewing/controlling food in the mouth; initiating a swallow; coughing, choking, throat clearing, gurgly voice after eating/drinking; excessively slow eating associated with weight loss; signs of aspiration (repeated pneumonias).

Cost Coverage
At ZIS, the Speech and Language Pathologist provides assessment and treatment services which are billed to parents through invoice from the school. Some students may be eligible to have their therapy funded by the Gemeinde in which the family lives or the Amt fuer Jugendliche Beruf und Beratung (AJB) or through private health insurance. Please speak to your therapist about this if you would like to pursue funding options.

The sum of CHF 600 will be charged for full assessments or a smaller amount at the therapist’s discretion, depending on the complexity of the assessment. Billing will take place every second month, for the number of sessions which your child has received, at the rate of CHF 100 per 45 minute session for individual therapy. These rates will include the therapist’s contact time with your child, parent contact time, teacher contact time, administrative and preparation work, and written updates on your child’s sessions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I contact a speech/language pathologist if I cannot understand everything my young child says?

Not necessarily. Young children’s speech sounds have a developmental sequence of acquisition. This means that some simplifications are age appropriate. However, if your child is over three and a half and is difficult to understand by family members then contact a speech/language pathologist to ensure that your child is developing within the average range.

Does learning two languages create speech and language problems?

No. Children all over the world learn more than one language without developing speech or language problems. Bilingual children develop language skills just as other children do.

* This information was obtained from the American Speech and Language Association.

How do I refer my child to Speech and Language Therapy?

Speak to you classroom teacher and ask them to fill out a referral form. This will then be forwarded to the speech/language pathologist.

What will happen once my child is referred to Speech and Language Therapy?

Once the speech/language pathologist receives the referral they will make contact with you and the child’s teacher to discuss what concerns you are having. If you wish, an appointment can be made for you to meet with the therapist and have a chat personally. After this the speech/language pathologist will do an assessment of the different areas described above and following this a report will be written. The speech/language pathologist will then discuss the report with you and together goals are formulated to work on during therapy sessions. Your child may attend therapy once or twice a week until the goals are achieved. The speech/language pathologist will work closely with the educational staff at the school to help the activities and goals for your child to be incorporated into your child’s Individual Education Plan and daily classroom activities.

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