Support Services



Pittsylvania County Schools:

A Great Place to Learn and Work!

P.O. Box 232 • 39 Bank Street, SE 
Chatham, Virginia 24531  
Telephone:  (434) 432-2761 • 1-888-440-6520 • Fax: (434) 432-9560

Speech-Language Services 

Pittsylvania County Schools has 7 speech-language therapists who provide services for more than 350 students.  Students are found eligible for services on a yearly basis from the results of diagnostic evaluations and annual testing.  A significant majority of these students receive speech-language services as a “Related Service” in addition to other special education services.  A smaller number of students are determined to have speech-language impairments but not other disabilities.  They receive special education services only in the area of speech-language. 

The extent of services provided to eligible students is determined by an IEP team.  The IEP team gives strong consideration to the recommendation of the speech-language therapist who has evaluated or conducted the annual testing of the student.  Many students become ineligible for services and are “exited” from the program as the result of the substantial progress they make.  On the other hand, there are a small number of students who may continue to exhibit the need and who demonstrate that they benefit from services throughout their school careers.

Students with speech disorders have difficulties in one or more of the following areas:  articulation, voice, and fluency.  When therapy is focused on articulation, it is to promote clear and correct pronunciation.  When the emphasis is on voice, it is to teach the student how to speak with appropriate volume, quality, or pitch.  If therapeutic emphasis is placed on fluency, it is to improve the rate and flow of the student’s speech without repetition of words or phrases.

Students with language disorders have difficulties with either or both expressive language or receptive language.  When speaking or with the use of augmentative devices, it is difficult for them to communicate their thoughts and ideas to others.  This is considered an expressive language disorder. When listening, they have difficulty comprehending the spoken language.  This is considered a receptive language disorder.

Speech-language development in individuals cannot be overestimated in its importance.  It allows individuals to express themselves and interact with others, skills essential for being able to function and participate fully in our society.  In addition, research has shown that the oral language development in children plays a critical role in the development of their literacy skills.  

If you have further questions, please contact Dr. William Sandidge, Supervisor of Special Education.  

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Last update: Monday, August 03, 2015 10:29 AM