12. “Struggling Students”

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is advocating for the use of speech-language pathologists in efforts to implement school literacy programs in the context of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA):

“Language is the Basis of Literacy : Please include speech-language pathologists as recognized providers of service under any new federal comprehensive literacy legislation. The Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act, H.R. 4037 and S. 2740, was introduced by Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) in the House and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) in the Senate. This legislation has been identified as the starting point for literacy provisions related to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, however, it does not reflect the integral role that speech-language pathologists play in improving language and literacy skills in children. See the full issue brief on literacy [PDF].”

The issue brief highlights information about the academic background speech-language pathologists have for addressing literacy development. They have foundational knowledge of language development, and “…are often the first professional to identify the root cause of reading and writing problems through a child’s difficulty with language.” They can “…design emergent literacy programs in phonological awareness, memory, retrieval, and vocabulary which significantly improves an individual’s ability to learn to read.”


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