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Every Ranger Every Reason Every Day


Speech Intervention

Welcome to Speech Intervention!

To the Hamilton Parents & Guardians;

Welcome to the Hamilton Local School District Speech Therapy program! As we begin a new school year, we wanted to introduce ourselves and allow you to become familiar with the speech-language pathology program, policies and procedures. 

Please take a moment to look through the following information so that you will know what to expect regarding your student’s Speech Therapy at the Hamilton Local School District.
Speech Therapy Expectations
1. Respect school, others and myself with my words and actions.    
2. Look, listen and stay quiet when the Speech Therapist and/or another student is talking  
3. Show enthusiasm and have a positive attitude    
4. Take responsibility for my behavior and learning.
Please contact us if you have any questions regarding your child. Our contact information is listed below.
We hope you and your child have a successful school year!

Molly Peiffer, MA CCC-SLP
Ashley Brady, MA CCC-SLP


Our Speech-Language Pathologists

Name: Alyssa Schneider, MA CCC-SLP
Email: [email protected]   
Grades: K-3, 9-12
Room: Hamilton Elementary Room 109
Phone: (614) 491-8044 ext. 1387
Subjects: Speech Language Therapy

Miami University - 2009 - BS - Speech Pathology and Audiology
University of Akron - 2011 - MA - Speech-Language Pathology

Name: Ashley Brady, MA CCC-SLP
Grades: PK, 4-8 
Room: Hamilton Intermediate Room 401
Subjects: Speech Language Therapy
Miami University - 2010 - BS - Speech Pathology and Audiology
Ohio University - 2012 - MA -  Communication Sciences and Disorders - Speech-Language Pathology
What is the difference between Speech & Language?

Language is made up of socially shared rules that include the following:

  • What words mean (e.g., "star" can refer to a bright object in the night sky or a celebrity)
  • How to make new words (e.g., friend, friendly, unfriendly)
  • How to put words together (e.g., "Peg walked to the new store" rather than "Peg walk store new")
  • What word combinations are best in what situations ("Would you mind moving your foot?" could quickly change to "Get off my foot, please!" if the first request did not produce results)

Speech is the verbal means of communicating. Speech consists of the following:

How speech sounds are made (e.g., children must learn how to produce the "r" sound in order to say "rabbit" instead of "wabbit").
Use of the vocal folds and breathing to produce sound (e.g., the voice can be abused from overuse or misuse and can lead to hoarseness or loss of voice).
The rhythm of speech (e.g., hesitations or stuttering can affect fluency).

When a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings completely (expressive language), then he or she has a language disorder.

When a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with his or her voice, then he or she has a speech disorder.

In our example, Tommy has a speech disorder that makes him hard to understand. If his lips, tongue, and mouth are not moved at the right time, then what he says will not sound right. Children who stutter, and people whose voices sound hoarse or nasal have speech problems as well.

Jane has a receptive and expressive language disorder . She does not have a good understanding of the meaning of words and how and when to use them. Because of this, she has trouble following directions and speaking in long sentences.
Language and speech disorders can exist together or by themselves. The problem can be mild or severe. In any case, a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is the first step to improving language and speech problems.

It is important for you to try to assess whether or not your child has understood what was just said.  This can be a subjective judgment call at times.  You might be able to tell by the look upon his face, by his physical reaction, or by his verbal response.  It is often difficult to know for sure if your child has misunderstood or if he is purposefully not listening.  When in doubt, assume that your child did not understand and try the suggestions below to help him understand.

  • Repeat what you said a little bit more slowly.
  • Rephrase what you said in simpler language.
  • Orient or remind your child to the topic of conversation and then re-ask your question and prompt for back and forth exchange.  For example you might say, “Remember when we went to Grandma’s house yesterday and we saw the bird nest?  We saw the nest hidden in the pine tree.  There were three little eggs inside.  They were blue.”
  • Walk him through it.  Show your child exactly what you want him to do while talking through the steps and encouraging your child to repeat it after you.  For example say, “First we are going to put the flour in and then mix it with the egg.  What are we going to do?”


Articulation and phonological disorders affect a child's ability to produce sounds correctly.  Children acquire various speech sounds by certain ages.  If your child has not mastered certain speech sounds by a particular age, speech therapy services may be recommended. Articulation disorders can affect your students phonemic awareness, reading and spelling skills to name a few.  Typically, your child will need to master their sounds in the following order:

Isolation or the sound all by itself:
When practicing in isolation, you are saying the sounds by themselves.  Be sure the sound is crisp and clear with each practice and give your child feedback on if the sound was correct and if not how to improve the production of the sound, such as where to place the tongue, lips and teeth.
Pairing the sound with various vowels either after, before, or between the target sound.  (Ex. s-o, o-s, o-s-o).  Be sure to target both long and short vowel sounds.  If you child misarticulates the the sound, then give specific feedback as you did in the isolation stage.
Words (beginning, middle, and ends of words):Say the sound in words from the targeted word list.  Typically we start with sounds at the beginning of words and then move words ending with the target sound and finally to words with the sound in the middle. 

Pick a phrase to practice words (i.e. "I see" -----) Again, we start with sounds at the beginning of words and then move words ending with the target sound and finally to words with the sound in the middle.
When practicing at the sentence level, use words from the word list and have your child make up a sentence using the word.  Again, we start with sounds at the beginning of words and then move words ending with the target sound and finally to words with the sound in the middle.
Reading: You can use any reading material such as a library book, reading book, or any subject book and have your child read using their good sound.  If they are struggling with this, have them find the words with their sound in it in each paragraph before reading it aloud.     
Homework Ideas: Practice your target sounds "the new way" during reading activities each night for a few minutes. You will need to read out loud.  An adult might need to remind you when you are doing your sound the "NEW WAY" versus the "OLD WAY".  It can be helpful to skim your reading and use a highlighter to mark all of the words that have your sound before you read.

         Read a story with your parents and:                    

-retell it to your parents using all of your words
-stop in the middle and try to make up your own ending
-write down any new words that you find and learn the definition, synonym, or antonym of those words.
-identify and talk about the meaning of figurative (or non-literal) language as it comes up in your reading
Structured/spontaneous conversation: Here the target practicing the sound with your child is not necessarily thinking specifically about it.  Give prompts such as fix it or tell me that again or don't forget you good sound, to have them fix productions in error.

You may need to adapt your child's homework pages to increase or decrease difficulty so your child can experience success.  For example, it is not realistic to practice /r/ in sentences if your child cannot accurately produce this sound in syllables. Homework pages and fun activities for practice can be found on this website. Check your students folder for homework practice.  Don't forget to make if fun, such as practice while playing a game.  Have your child practice 1-3 times before earning a turn in a game.

Here are some ideas for how kids and parents can practice speech and language goals in everyday conversation:

6 Fun Ways to Practice Your Articulation Skills at Home

  1. As you ride along in the car, name things you see that have your speech sound in the name

  2. Play guessing games, choosing items in a room that have your sound, as your  partner tries to guess what object you are thinking of

  3. As you do your other homework, repeat words with your sound that you come across in your spelling and vocabulary lists.

  4. Create a collage of pictures with your child’s sound.

  5. Create a speech bag, by collecting small objects that contain your child’s speech sound. Take the bag out to practice saying the names of the objects. You can also use the bag to play guessing games.

  6. Use clip art, magazine pictures or other types of pictures to create practice cards, You may want to get a package of 3 by 5 note cards, and paste the pictures to them. Make two cards of the same picture. You can use the cards for the following activities:

  •     “Memory” or matching games- place all cards face down and take turns turning over two cards, trying to find matches.

  •     Guessing games- lay a group of cards out, and take turns describing a picture as the partner tries to guess it.

  •      Sequence- lay out one card at a time, naming it. Add another card, and name both, keep adding cards, but cover them once you name them once and try to remember all the cards.

  •     Go fish- use your cards to play a “Go Fish” kind of game

  •     Hide and seek – have your child leave the room. Hide the cards around the room, then invite your child to come back in and find all of them

  •     Slap it- lay the cards face down in a pile. When you say “go” turn a card over. The one who slaps it first and says it correctly takes the card.


1.  Set up a time to talk with your child about his/her day (or anything else that your child's would like to talk about).  Make this time "predictable" (set a time) AND "productive" (give constructive feedback and encouragement).

2.  In conversation, first you need to focus your child to their speech goals (speech sounds, or language).  For example you might say, "I am so excited to hear about field day, and when you tell me about it all, I want you to try to remember to use your new "R" sound and your good grammar". 

3. Finally, try your best to LISTEN to what your child says as well as how he/she is saying sure to give your child honest but encouraging feedback.                   

You have invited your friend over for dinner. Your child sees your friend reach for some cookies and says, "Better not take those, or you'll get even bigger." You're embarrassed that your child could speak so rudely. However, you should consider that your child may may not know how to use language appropriately in social situations and did not mean harm by the comment.

An individual may say words clearly and use long, complex sentences with correct grammar, but still have a communication problem - if he or she has not mastered the rules for social language known as pragmatics . Adults may also have difficulty with pragmatics, for example, as a result of a brain injury or stroke.

Pragmatics involve three major communication skills:

Using language for different purposes, such as;
  • greeting (e.g., hello, goodbye)informing (e.g., I'm going to get a cookie)
  • demanding (e.g., Give me a cookie)
  • promising (e.g., I'm going to get you a cookie)
  • requesting (e.g., I would like a cookie, please)
  • Changing language according to the needs of a listener or situation, such as
  • talking differently to a baby than to an adult
  • giving background information to an unfamiliar listener
  • speaking differently in a classroom than on a playground
  • Following rules for conversations and storytelling, such as
  • taking turns in conversation
  • introducing topics of conversation
  • staying on topic
  • rephrasing when misunderstood
  • how to use verbal and nonverbal signals
  • how close to stand to someone when speaking
  • how to use facial expressions and eye contact
These rules may vary across cultures and within cultures. It is important to understand the rules of your communication partner.

An individual with pragmatic problems may:
  • say inappropriate or unrelated things during conversations
  • tell stories in a disorganized way
  • have little variety in language use
It is not unusual for children to have pragmatic problems in only a few situations. However, if problems in social language use occur often and seem inappropriate considering the child's age, a pragmatic disorder may exist. Pragmatic disorders often coexist with other language problems such as vocabulary development or grammar. Pragmatic problems can lower social acceptance. Peers may avoid having conversations with an individual with a pragmatic disorder.

7 Ways to Help the Child Who Stutters

Compiled by Barry Guitar, Ph.D. and Edward G. Conture, Ph.D.

1. Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before you begin to speak. Your own slow, relaxed speech will be far more effective than any criticism or advice such as "slow down" or "try it again slowly." 

2. Reduce the number of questions you ask your child. Children speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than answering an adult's questions. Instead of asking questions, simply comment on what your child has said, thereby letting him know you heard him. 

3. Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening to the content of her message and not to how she's talking. 

4. Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child. During this time, let the child choose what he would like to do. Let him direct you in activities and decide himself whether to talk or not. When you talk during this special time, use slow, calm, and relaxed speech, with plenty of pauses. This quiet, calm time can be a confidence-builder for younger children, letting them know that a parent enjoys their company. As the child gets older, it can be a time when the child feels comfortable talking about his feelings and experiences with a parent.

5. Help all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening. Children, especially those who stutter, find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listeners' attention. 

6. Observe the way you interact with your child. Try to increase those times that give your child the message that you are listening to her and she has plenty of time to talk. Try to decrease criticisms, rapid speech patterns, interruptions, and questions. 

7. Above all, convey that you accept your child as he is. The most powerful force will be your support of him, whether he stutters or not
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