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Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – A United States federal law that requires a school district to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district’s jurisdiction.

Selection Task – the process of the therapist/parent requesting the child to retrieve one (or more) toys (could also be picture cards) item from a group of toys  (may vary in “set size”) that have been placed in front of the child (in a line or a half circle).  Therapists call this a “closed set” selection task because the set of options is visible to the child. The selection task is used to assess the child’s skills in areas of audition (e.g. discrimination, auditory memory, etc.), speech (e.g. articulation), language (e.g. receptive/expressive vocabulary, grammatical concepts, etc.), and cognition (e.g. item identification by description).

Sensory – May refer to a type of deficit, where a child is hyper or hypo sensitive to touch, noises, light, or smell. May also refer to hyper or hypo sensation in and around the mouth that could contribute to speech and eating problems.

Scientific, Research-Based Instruction – Curriculum and educational interventions that are research-based and have been proven to be effective for most students.

Screening (Hearing) – An evaluation of the auditory system that is generally not as in–depth as a traditional hearing test and often does not include the actual assessment of an individual’s thresholds, but instead results in “pass” or “fail”.

Semantics – The use in language of meaningful referents, in both word and sentence structures.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss – Hearing loss caused by damage to the sensory cells and/or nerve fibers of the inner ear. The most common type of hearing loss in adulthood. Learn more about sensorineural hearing loss.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) – A complex brain disorder that causes a child to misinterpret everyday sensory information like movement, sound and touch. Children with SPD may seek out intense sensory experiences or feel overwhelmed with information.

Sign Language – Method of communication for people who are deaf or hard of hearing in which hand movements, gestures, and facial expressions convey grammatical structure and meaning.

Signal to Noise Ratio – The difference in the intensities of the speech signal (such as a teacher’s voice) and the ambient (background) noise.

Signed English Systems – Sign systems developed for educational purposes, which use manual signs in English word order; sometimes with added affixes which are not present in American Sign Language. Signing Exact English and Seeing Essential English are two examples.

Signed Exact English (SEE) – Signs are given in English word order, grammar, and syntax.

Simultaneous Communication – SC refers to the simultaneous use of ASL/SEE and spoken language to communicate.

Smell – To perceive odor or scent through stimuli affecting the olfactory nerves.

Smell Disorder – Inability to perceive odors. It may be temporary, caused by a head cold or swelling or blockage of the nasal passages. It can be permanent when any part of the olfactory region is damaged by factors such as brain injury, tumor, disease, or chronic rhinitis.

Sound Vocalization – Ability to produce voice.

Spasmodic Dysphonia – Momentary disruption of voice caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx or voice box.

Special Education – Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.

Specially Designed Instruction – Ways that special education professionals adapt the content, methodology (approaches to teaching certain grade-level content), or the delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from the child’s disability. Specially designed instruction should also ensure that the eligible child has access to the general curriculum so that he or she can meet the educational standards of the school district that apply to all children.

Specific Language Impairment (SLI) – Difficulty with language or the organized-symbol system used for communication in the absence of problems such as mental retardation, hearing loss, or emotional disorders.

Specific Learning Disability – A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language (spoken or written) which may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.

Speech – Spoken communication; characteristics of the way we talk. SLPs listen not only for speech sound errors, but are also listening for a pattern of errors that give clues as to the underlying cause and best treatment approach for the child.

Speech Audiometry – The portion of an audiological evaluation that uses speech stimuli to measure the auditory system. Speech audiometry testing often includes the measurement of Speech Reception Thresholds (SRTs) utilizing two–syllable spondee words and the assessment of Word Recognition / Speech Discrimination scores utilizing single syllable words in a carrier phrase. Some speech audiometry tests use sentence materials instead of single word materials.

Speech Errors – any difference, delay or deviation in the development of speech sounds; may include deletions or substitutions of specific sounds (articulation), families of sounds (phonology) and/or the motor planning required to produce and combine these sounds

Speech–language pathologist – health care professional who assess speech and language development and treats language and speech disorders.

Speech production – the utterance of intelligible speech

Speechreading – The interpretation of lip and mouth movements, facial expressions, gestures, elements of sound, structural characteristics of language, and topical and contextual clues. Sometimes referred to as as lipreading.

Sudden Hearing Loss – Loss of hearing that occurs quickly due to such causes as an explosion or a viral infection.

Swimplugs – Material used to keep water out of the ear canal. They can be custom or non–custom made and are often used to prevent infections that can result from water getting into the ear canal or middle ear cavity.

This list is not an exhaustive list of terms in the field, but rather, is meant to provide reference for some of the words you may find in our blogs.
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