Speech language therapy service in the outreach school
The National Outreach School SLT service provides support to Deaf/ hard of hearing (DHH) learners (0-21 years) who are enrolled in their school or preschool of choice. We aim to provide an equitable service to all DHH learners across the whole of New Zealand.
The SLTs’ work in the Outreach School focuses on the learner’s access to the curriculum (National School Curriculum or Te Whāriki) and follows communication needs identified in the learner’s Individual Education Plan (if the learner has one).
This Service Outline describes how the Speech Language Therapy Service functions in the context of the Outreach School.
Scope of practice
Ko Taku Reo is a trilingual, tricultural organisation and therefore the speech-language therapy service aims to align with this.
We work to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Specialist Service Standards of the Ministry of Education, and within the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) (WHO, 2001).
In Ko Taku Reo, speech-language therapists’ work in partnership with audiologists to support the development of communication and literacy skills. We work collaboratively with learners, their whānau and other professionals, including teachers, teacher aides, NZSL tutors, and CI habilitationists.
How we work
SLTs use assessment to identify how learners communicate, as well as how communication difficulties impact access, participation and learning. SLTs work to identify the next steps for communication development and/or access in relation to your child and other areas of support.
The SLT Service is a priority-based service. This means that the learners and their teams with the highest needs will receive a more intensive service. Learner assessment results will be used with our prioritisation guidelines, indicating the level of support each learner will receive.
The Learner need & intervention model will inform the SLT service Support Plan, which includes learning goals that have an agreed time frame. Where applicable, this Support Plan may be embedded in the learner’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is co-constructed with the learner’s whānau and team.
When the agreed learning goals have been achieved, the Support Plan is reviewed and decisions about further SLT support will be discussed with the learner’s whanau and team.
If anyone from a learner’s existing team has noticed that they need help to support the child’s Speech-Language and Communication (SLC), then the learner can be referred to the Enrolled School SLT service.
The learner or Teacher of the Deaf can send the referral to us. This can be done by filling in the integrated services referral form.
Referrals can only be accepted if whānau has given consent for the referral.
You will receive an email receipt of your referral and a team member may contact you to gather more information if needed. The referral will be accepted or declined, and this will be communicated to the referrer and their team.
A team member will contact the learner’s team, including whānau, the learner, teachers, and other professionals.
By connecting with whanau, the team member will gain consent and begin the assessment processes.
The learner’s needs will be assessed using formal (e.g. tests) and/or informal (e.g. observation) methods. Whānau and team members are central to this process. Assessment findings will be used to determine the level of support for the learner and their team.
After determining the level of support, the SLT works with the learner’s team, including teaching staff, their whānau, and the learner, to co-construct a Support Plan. The Support Plan will have clear learning goals and an agreed time frame. The time frame will include review points for the support being given.
At review meetings, the team will decide on criteria that will show that the learner’s Support Plan is complete.
When the criteria have been met, or the team has agreed that the Support Plan is complete for a different reason, then the team will organise a Next Steps meeting.
At the Next Steps meeting, progress will be reviewed, and final recommendations will be discussed before the learner’s Support Plan is closed.
The learner may be re-referred to the Ko Taku Reo SLT service in the future if anyone from the learner’s team (existing or new) identifies that they need help to support the child’s further communication development and/or access.