Communication Sciences and Disorders

CHEEP Program Children

What does CHEEP provide for program children (children eligible for PUF)?

  • A small class consisting of seven children with special needs and three community children. The teacher, SLP and therapist assistant work full-time in the classroom and other specialists and students are frequently also engaged in school programming.

  • An Individualized Program Plan (IPP) is designed at the beginning of the year by the collaborative team, including parents. This document outlines the child’s strengths, goals and identifies strategies to support the child’s growth and development. It is reviewed regularly and the child’s progress with objectives is formally updated twice during the school year.

  • The team of developmental specialists work collaboratively to design classroom programming capitalizing on functional, motivating and developmentally appropriate preschool activities.

  • All children have exposure to total communication (opportunity to communicate in a variety of ways using words, signs and pictures) in the classroom.

  • Fourteen home visits (or a combination of home visits and up to two school visits) are designed by the team of professionals. Home visits facilitate communication between home and school and afford the school specialists opportunities to work with a child individually. Home visits provide parents with strategies to support their child’s development at home, and allow the school team members to see activities and strategies used at home which support the child’s growth.

  • Community children are included in the classroom providing peer models of speech, language, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, preschool skills self-help skills and social skills.

  • Children with speech/language delays may be eligible for small group or individual out-of-class therapy, during the regular school day. ‘Small class’ is led by speech-language pathology students completing clinical placements at the U of A. The students are supervised directly by SLPs working for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (formerly known as the Department of Speech-Language Pathology). Student SLPs also liaises with the classroom SLP to ensure goals, strategies and activities are consistent between the classroom and ‘small class’.

  • The school team engages in ongoing informal assessment throughout the school year to monitor a child’s progress. Formal assessment is completed in the spring to help determine programming options for the following school year.

  • A comprehensive year end report is completed for each program child by the school team.

  • Families are provided with support for making transitions to new schools/programs. This can involve providing information, accompanying care-givers on tours of programs, facilitating observations of the child at school for staff of the receiving school, and/or coordinating a transition meeting with staff of the receiving school.

  • Parents/Guardians are eligible for transportation funding (as available through Alberta Education).