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Speech therapist working on speech sounds with elementary student

Role of Speech-Language Pathologists in Reading Achievement

Learn how school SLPs support classroom teachers and families in helping children with speech sounds, spoken language, social communication, and more.

Literacy is an essential prerequisite to students’ academic achievement, social wellbeing, and lifetime opportunities. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have the specialized knowledge and experience that’s needed to identify communication disorders and provide the help that children need to build their language literacy skills. 

School SLPs help children with speech sounds, spoken language and literacy, social communication, cognitive communication, and assistive technology. SLPs play an important role in both special education and regular education settings. Here are some of the key things SLP’s do:

  • Provide classroom-based services
  • Co-teach with classroom teachers and reading specialists
  • Work with students who are at risk for reading difficulties and with children who are experiencing academic failure
  • Provide training to parents, teachers, and administrators to help support students’ academic and social success

Modeling read-alouds for parents

Speech-language pathologist Dr. Julie Washington says that most important thing about read-alouds with very young children is offering positive, joyful experiences around reading. (From our webcast, From Babbling to Books)

Especially for parents

Resources from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

For more information, see the ASHA Back-to-School Digital Toolkit (opens in a new window). The toolkit includes the helpful resources and videos shown below.

Thank you to our longtime partner, ASHA, for sharing these helpful resources!

Getting to Know Your School’s Speech Language Pathologist

A Parent’s Guide to Speech, Language, and Hearing Services in Schools