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Role Of Speech-Language Therapist In School

What is Special Education School?

Special Education School is an educational service provided by Government or non-Government for students with disabilities. In Malaysia, the service is available for children at :

  • Preschool
  • Primary school
  • Secondary school


Source : www.kosmo.com.my

It is established to accommodate students with disabilities such as hearing impairment, visual impairment, learning disabilities and multiple disabilities. Programs in Special Education in Malaysia are divided into:

  • Sekolah Pendidikan Khas (special education school specifically for deaf and blind students)
  • Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi (incorporated into the mainstream school)
  • Program Pendidikan Inklusif (incorporated into the mainstream school

Who is speech-language therapist?

Speech-Language Therapist in school is a trained and certificated professional who assess and provide intervention for school-age children with speech, language and communication disorders that affect educational performance. In addition, Speech-Language Therapist is actively involved in identifying students with problems as stated, developing treatment plan, working with teachers and parents to facilitate an effective teaching and learning process in classroom.

Is Speech-Language Therapist Available at School?

In Malaysia, Speech-Language Therapist services are not well established at the mainstream school if compare to developed countries.

As pioneer in providing education to all Malaysian children, the Government embarks in establishing a center which is called Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas (3PK) at the Special Education School for children with disabilities targeting at deaf and blind children aged from 6 to 19 years old. Currently, 3PK center with Speech-Language Therapist services are available in 4 states including Johor, Kuantan, Perlis and Putrajaya.

perkhidmatan-di-pusatpendidikankhas
Source : www.moe.gov.my

Services that are accessible in these centers are:

There are rise of many private educational center around the country providing Speech-Language Therapist services. The centers are The Learning Connection Centre (TLC) in Kuala Lumpur, Atfal Jannah in Bangi, Wings in Malacca and many others.

Otherwise, Speech-Language Therapy service can be obtained in Speech-Language Clinic in Public Institution of Higher Education (PIHE) such as the National University of Malaysia (UKM), the Science University of Malaysia (USM) and the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).

Referral for students with communication problem at the mainstream school, teachers may suggest parents for a referral by a medical doctor from hospitals, health clinics (known as Klinik Kesihatan) or private clinic nearby. The symptoms may include:

  • Communication difficulty (either verbally or by gesture) with peers or teachers
  • Difficulty to follow instruction or to build sentences to express thoughts to others
  • Unclear or unintelligible speech

What is Speech-Language Therapist Role in School?

  1. To carry out screening among students in mainstream school or in integration program related to speech, hearing, articulation and communication problems.
  2. To assess and determine difficulties in language, speech and communication aspects in further details
  3. To assess writing and reading
  4. To develop and intervention plan and provide speech-language treatment according to client needs
  5. To conduct school visit
    • If necessary or on demand from teachers or school
  6. To involve in LINUS program (screening test for literacy and numeracy in mainstream or special Education school)
    • Referral will be made to other professionals (occupational therapy, psychology etc.) if necessary
  7. To give talks or guidance to teachers about awareness of language, speech and communication disorders as well as related effective techniques during lesson
  8. To act as reference and provide counselling regarding language, speech and communication disorder
  9. To provide module and training to teachers and parents in managing language, speech and communication disorder
  10. To involve as a multidiscipline in managing school placement for students
  11. To assess and introduce Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) to students with communication difficulty

What are disorders that are managed by Speech-Language Therapist?

Disorders that will be managed by a speech-language therapist are children known to have:

What are Facilities in Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas (3PK)?

Generally, Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas (3PK) consists of facilities as follow:


Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas in Johor

The following are some of activities that are carried out during speech therapy session in school:

  • Interacting during play using suitable toys to improve language, speech and communication skills
  • Story telling using storybooks or pictures
  • Articulation therapy for students with unclear speech

Conclusion

Speech-Language Therapist is crucial in assessing and providing treatment related to speech, language and communication disorders regardless of the location either in hospitals, private centers or in school. Teachers and parents may help in identification of children with speech, language and communication difficulties. Urgent referral should be made so that further assessment and management can be done by the professionals.

References

  1. Pusat Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Khas. (2012). Available from http://www.moe.gov.my/v/pusat-perkhidmatan-pendidikan-khas-informasi-program
  2. Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists in schools. [Professional Issues Statement]. (2010). Available from http://www.asha.org/policy/PI2010-00317/
  3. Siapa itu terapis pertuturan?. (2014). Available from http://www.myhealth.gov.my/siapa-itu-terapis-pertuturan-bahasa/
Last Reviewed : 7 July 2016
Writer / Translator : Noor Ra’idah Rufaidah bt. Tuah
Accreditor : Nadwah bt. Onwi
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