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Speech-Language Pathology

The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires a free, appropriate public education for children with disabilities, including students with communication disorders.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are certified professionals trained to help students overcome communication problems that affect success in classroom activities, social interactions, literacy and learning.

Ensuring that our students have good communication skills is essential to our educational mission. To achieve this, District 401's SLPs work with students who have a variety of language, voice, fluency, articulation and swallowing disabilities or disorders.

Where You Can Find Our SLPs

Michelle Accettura

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: District

Megan Bremer

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: Elmwood Park High School

Gina Campanella

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathology
Locations: John Mills Elementary

Brianna Campbell

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: John Mills Elementary

Anne Douglas

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: John Mills Elementary

Kathryn Freitag

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: John Mills Elementary

Maureen Ramirez

Job Title: Early Childhood Student Support Specialist
Locations: John Mills Elementary

Tracy Sloan

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: Elmwood Elementary

Allison Trybula

Job Title: Speech-Language Pathologist
Locations: District

How SLPs Help Students

Ensuring that our students have good communication skills is essential to our educational mission. To achieve this, District 401's SLPs work with students who have a variety of language, voice, fluency, articulation and swallowing disabilities or disorders.

Language disabilities include:

  • Slow development of vocabulary, concepts or grammar.
  • Inability to use different communication styles for different situations.

Voice disorders include:

  • Speech that is too high, low or monotonous in pitch.
  • Speech that is too loud or too soft.
  • Speech that is too harsh, hoarse, breathy or nasal.

Fluency or stuttering problems include:

  • Interruptions in flow or rhythm.
  • Hesitations, repetitions or prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases.

Articulation disorders include:

  • Saying one sound for another, such as wabbit for rabbit.
  • Omitting a sound in a word, such as i-cream for ice cream.
  • Distorting a sound, such as thee for see.

Swallowing problems, also known as dysphagia, include:

  • Difficulty in sucking or chewing.
  • Difficulty in triggering a swallow.
  • Difficulty in moving food into the stomach.

Roles of Our SLPs

Given the range of communication problems that students can face, SLPs have many roles in our schools. These include:

  • Prevention of communication disorders. 
  • Identification of students at risk for later problems .
  • Assessment of students' communication skills. 
  • Evaluation of the results of comprehensive assessments.
  • Development and implementation of IEPs.
  • Documentation of outcomes. 
  • Collaboration with teachers and other professionals.
  • Participation in schoolwide curriculum and literacy teams.

The services that SLPs provide will vary depending on student needs. These services can range from monitoring or periodic screening to collaborating and consulting with teachers to working with students in small groups or individualized sessions.

For More Information

To learn more about how a speech-language pathologist could help your child, contact your school's SLP(s) as listed above. For additional resources about communication disorders, visit the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.