If there’s a song, a sound, or a hand signal in the air at LME on any given day, most likely these talented educators have something to do with it. Pictured left to right are Judy Williams, Erika Allen, Delaina Wimpee, and Shanna Horton. Not pictured are Rachel McKee and Leisa Bradley. These experts are who I affectionately call our “speechies” because they specifically work with our PK – 5th grade learners who qualify for speech services.
Our LEAD (Language Enrichment Articulation Development) Program provides services to learners (ages 3 and 4) in a structured PK setting two days per week. Classroom activities are specifically designed to build expressive and receptive language while working on articulation goals with each child. These young students play games, work in centers, sing songs, and work on goals to meet their personalized plans with Mrs. Wimpee and Mrs. Horton. As one young friend shared, “We tell LOTS of stories!” 🙂 When asked about the kinds of stories, “Well…I like to share jokes and tell scary stuff.” 🙂
Four years ago, our new campus embraced the power of sign language in a really big way. We are fortunate to have sign interpreters, Rachel McKee and Leisa Bradley, who work directly with our learners with auditory impairments. In fact, our students and staff work at various levels using SEE (Signed Exact English). Through a best practices model, everyone benefits from learning basic sign language.
Emphasis in all our speech and language programs (PK-5th grades) is placed on individual learner goals worked on through highly engaging, meaningful activities. Learners “work smart” with Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Williams to reach successful communication outcomes through various strategies and techniques implemented in each lesson. Through specific therapy where each child is expected to reach personal best, the work is then transferred into the general educational setting and real life through regular conversation. The process takes time, but results are noted daily.
Whether it’s songs, games, questions, or challenges, these lessons of speaking and listening provide powerful tools for students to raise their own voices. Our therapists don’t just focus on the final destination of speech goals; they make the learning journey fun. Here’s hoping you hear (and see) what they do!