The ability to communicate one’s desires, emotions, needs, wants, and feelings is a fundamental element to the human experience and a developmental process. Utilizing the DIR® methodology and Floortime™ approach, the Speech and Language Department at Rebecca School supports the developmental process of language acquisition through the context of social interaction and engagement. The course of language development begins with an individual achieving a calm and alert state, allowing them to lend their attention to both their environment and their communication partner.
From there, interactions can then grow to include emotional significance to the individual, are longer in duration, include back-and-forth emotional signaling, and ultimately promote a genuine desire within that individual to connect with others. This leads to an increase in understanding of their world, represented by their increased ability to utilize symbols, ideas, words, imaginary play and abstract thinking to connect in new and innovative ways with their environment and those in it.
In order for an individual to progress through these aforementioned steps of language development, the Speech and Language Department provides each students with naturalistic and emotionally meaningful contexts and social interactions to support their growth across a range of functional emotional developmental capacities which naturally promotes advancements in pragmatic, receptive, and expressive language. With an active emphasis on foundational language skills, such as joint attention, attunement, imitation, role reversal, gestural development and joyful affect, Speech and Language sessions are tailored to the individual needs and interests of our students through a range of modalities while promoting deep and meaningful relationships and supporting an intrinsic motivation to communicate and relate with others.
Sessions are provided in both individual and group settings and can occur in a variety of environments, contexts, and social settings, dependent on each student’s individualized Speech and Language program. Through collaboration across disciplines, SLPs are able to make modifications to each classroom and therapeutic environment to enhance an individual’s comprehension or ability to express their ideas. While language development is always a primary focus of therapy, a developmental approach is also applied towards mealtime and feeding development for our students; especially those with limited diets. Cooking groups, feeding groups, sensory based play, community outings, and field trips are just a few of the many mediums which are utilized by our therapists to connect with and promote enjoyable learning opportunities for each student in relation to their individualized growth.
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