Speech and Language Specialist

Children with FAS[D] usually show some degree of language disability or delayed language development. They often have significant problems in communicating regardless of whether or not their general development is delayed. This difficulty with language affects social communication as well as academic learning.
(Conry, 1996).

The speech and language specialist should be consulted when working with this population. While the FASD population has a wide range of language profiles, there are certain language deficits that characterize the speech and language of these students. The FASD student often appears loquacious and engaging, leading teachers to believe their expressive and receptive language are adequate. However , this may be masking serious language problems. Often the FASD student has a lot to say with little substance. He/she may be able to repeat information, but it does not mean they understand it. As a result, these students have pragmatic skill deficits. They have difficulty with their interpersonal skills, communicating, and socializing.

There are many speech and language disorders associated with FASD. The speech and language specialist evaluates for voice and articulation disorders, speech delay, and language disorders. Expressive and receptive language should be assessed. The pragmatic skills are of prime importance to assess. If it is determined the student qualifies for speech and language assistance, the speech and language specialist will provide therapy.

The speech and language specialist is an important member of the SST and a primary member of the IEP team.