Date of Award

1962

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

Speech

Abstract

Recognition of the need for special education for school children with speech handicaps was first made in Potsdam, Germany, in 1896. Twelve years later in 1908 the first public school class in speech correction in the United States was organized in New York City, Programs of speech and hearing re-education in the public schools of the United States have expanded from this single metropolitan system in 1908 to a nation-wide effort in little more than fifty years.

In the United States today more than two million school children require remedial services from competently trained speech clinicians. In California public schools alone more than 100,000 children each year receive special instruction in remedial classes conducted by more than five hundred full-time and part-time speech clinicians. Public school speech therapy has become a recognized discipline in American education, but continuing re-evaluations must be made to assure adequate future growth.

This study does not purport to go into the etiology or methodology of speech and hearing problems, but rather to serve mainly as a source of information regarding the organization, administration, and financing of the special services which deal with these problems,

In the preliminary stages of gathering the data for this research project, it was found that school districts seeking the services of a speech clinician for the first time were faced with the task of administering a program which is not clearly defined beyond the legal obligations as set forth by the Educational Code. Just what to expect from the new addition to their teaching staff presented a problem to the school district administrator. The speech clinician also was very seldom prepared to offer a well-defined workable outline as to his responsibilities to the school district which had employed him.

To determine the role of the speech clinician in this area and how the programs of speech therapy are organized, administered, and financed, seventeen school districts within a one hundred mile radius of Lodi, California, were randomly selected for this study.

Pages

53

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