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Mainstream Schools

The SLD offers a regular SLP service within 20 mainstream state school premises in Malta and nine school premises in Gozo. 
 
Eligibility for SLP services within schools is complimentary to services offered in the health clinics. Children who fall within community clinic catchment area are eligible to SLP services within the schools and students may be requested to attend sessions both at school and the health clinic. Students who are supported by a Learning Support Assistant have priority to receive services at school. The SLP may request parents/carers to accompany their child during sessions to ensure carryover of services at home. SLPs attend on established days.
 
The SLP’s role is acknowledged as a member of an interdisciplinary team when providing services in schools. Effective communication and its influence on educational progress are central to the speech language program in this setting.
 
 
Aims of Service Delivery 
  • To act as consultants for client’s communication and/or eating and drinking difficulties;
  • to design intervention programmes to maximise communication and/or eating and drinking abilities;
  • to provide both assessment and intervention with careful consideration of the school curriculum and pupil’s needs outside school premises;
  • to collaborate with guardians, school staff and other professionals to enhance the client’s development in communicative skills and feeding abilities;
  • to act as a resource for the school in the setting of relevant policies and aspects of the curriculum; and
  • to contribute to training for guardians and/or school staff and/or other professionals regarding any area related to communication and eating and drinking difficulties.

  

Referral, Assessment, Intervention and Discharge process
 
The referral procedure requires that the carer fills in and signs the referral form which is then passed on to the SLP through the teacher/school. The SLP contacts the carers with an initial appointment. First session takes place in Health Centre/District clinics or on the school premises depending on the type of service is being offered to the school.
 
Carers are requested to sign a consent form to indicate approval and commitment to the service.  This consent form also allows the speech language pathologist to (a) access information that may be of use to management of the client’s communication and/or feeding difficulties from school staff and other professionals; and (b) share the assessment results and other relevant information with school staff and other professionals working with the client for the purpose of client management. On the other hand, parents/carers commit themselves to attend therapy sessions and continue carryover work at home as guided by the SLP.
 
Following assessment, if intervention is indicated, a relevant program, targeting communication aspects and/or feeding and drinking, will be drawn up in the light of the assessment findings. Relevant work is also planned in conjunction with the guardian/s and school staff, during the individual education plan (IEP) meeting.  The SLP will determine the type and frequency of intervention that will be most beneficial to the client’s needs.
 
The presence of LSAs during the sessions is highly encouraged. This needs to be followed up by the implementation of recommendations/suggestions discussed during sessions.
 
The final decision regarding discharge process is the responsibility of the SLP in line with the discharge policy of the SLD.