Speech Services: Mrs. Ballard

Welcome to Communication Services!
As a speech and language pathologist my passion is supporting the communication development of each student. I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees in speech language pathology at Western Washington University, and have been practicing as a speech and language pathologist (SLP) since 2002. After completing my clinical fellowship year, I obtained my Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2003. I have had the opportunity to work with many wonderful students and families. My experience includes providing in-home birth to three language support services, developmental preschool classroom support, private therapy, and school-based services. I feel very lucky to be able to support students as they work toward building stronger communication skills, as it is rewarding to watch students grow and see their pride as they learn and accomplish new skills. Communication connects us, but also, our speech and language are an essential part of who we are as individuals.

Please feel free to talk, call, or e-mail me if you have questions about your child's communication development. Additionally, talking to your child's doctor and/or teacher if you have concerns regarding your child's communication may be helpful.

Mrs. Ballard
Rebecca Ballard, CCC-SLP
Speech and Language Pathologist
Bay View Elementary
757-3322/ rballard@be.wednet.edu

Resources and Links

For general information about speech and language development, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website is very useful. AHSA is the is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for all speech-language pathologists and audiologists.
Preschool-3rd grade
4th-6th grade
  • What is "typical" language for 4th and 5th graders?
7th-8th grade
What language skills develop in middle school years?
Preschool-3rd grade
4th-6th grade
7th-8th grade
This page is under development- check back soon!

Speech and Language Defined


  • alternative and augmentative communication
    - various methods of communication that can help people who are unable to use verbal speech to be able to communicate. This may include using photographs, picture symbols, voice output devices, etc. as a primary mode of communication, or to supplement or facilitate limited verbal communication.
  • speech/ articulation
    - the terms speech and articulation are often used interchangeably. They refer to how a person is pronouncing sounds as s/he is talking. It includes the movements of oral structures to produce phonemes (distinct sound units in a language), and how accurately each phoneme sounds when produced.
  • fluency
    -being fluent is the ability to express oneself easily as related to the production of speech. Stuttering, and stuttering-like behaviors impact a person's ability to be fluent, and his or her speech would be considered disfluent during stuttered moments.
  • language
    • expressive language- the output of language, or expressive language, is how one expresses his or her wants and needs. This includes vocabulary used, grammar rules that dictate how words change to change meaning and are combined into phrases, sentences and paragraphs. It is formulating and expressing thoughts using the appropriate words and the right order and combination of words.
    • receptive language- the comprehension and understanding, or input of language. Receptive language means understanding the meaning of each individual word heard, interpreting the content of what was said as a whole, and understanding other factors that can change meaning (sarcastic tone of voice) simultaneously. A child typically develops rules of language receptively first, then begins to express himself or herself using each of these language skills.
  • social language/pragmatics
    - involves learning rules for interacting with others with socially acceptable behaviors. Using language for a variety of social purposes, following the rules for social discourse (taking verbal turns, making comments about something someone else is talking about), being able to take another person's perspective, and using and understanding non-verbal communication (gestures, facial expression, tone of voice) which convey meaning.
  • voice
    -the vocal quality one has. Whether a voice sounds hoarse, or scratchy, or is unusually deep or high for his or her age and gender. May include avoiding behaviors known to be "vocally abusive" that contribute to pathology of the vocal folds.

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Special Education Terms and Definitions

Here are some definitions/explanations of words that you may find helpful:
Evaluation- An evaluation is when an assessment is done to determine if your child qualifies for and needs special education to support an area of learning. It may include looking at classwork, giving your child specific tests to measure skills in one or several areas, taking speech and language samples (recording what a child says, and how s/he said it), taking writing samples, and gathering other pertinent information (medical history, parent report of concerns, review of previous evaluations, etc.)
Re-evaluation- If your child is receiving services, then every three years s/he will have a re-evaluation to be sure that s/he continues to qualify for services. You will be asked to sign a consent form and you may be asked for any changes in home or health history, and if you continue to have concerns. The evaluation will follow the process outlined above.
Evaluation Meeting- Is when the evaluation team (which includes parents) meets to discuss the results of the evaluation, and to review the eligibility paperwork.
Eligibility- To be eligible for special education an adverse educational impact must be demonstrated, which is determined during the evaluation process.
Specially Designed Instruction- Means broadly that a student is receiving special education. It means adapting instruction to meet the individual needs of the student receiving services. The adaptations support needs based on his or her disability(ies). It is the specific thing the service provider is doing so that the student is able to learn the target.
Services- A term used to talk about the support a child is getting. For example, s/he may receive language services, or physical therapy services.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)- This document outlines the plan for services for one year. The IEP includes when you need to meet next, and by what date the next evaluation is due. It includes a summary of how your child is doing in each area s/he receives services and how s/he is doing in general education. It provides the annual goals for the year, and includes a matrix that explains how many minutes of service your child will receive, where this service will take place, and the service provider responsible for providing the service. It also includes any accommodations and/ot modifications necessary for your child to access the content and to participate in testing.
IEP Team- The group of people who contribute to the forming of the IEP document, meet together to discuss and agree or disagree to the plan, and who sign the document. This can include but is not limited to: Parents/guardians, student (when old enough), general education teacher, special education teacher, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, counselor, vision/mobility specialist, principal, providers from outside of school, and other individuals invited by family.
IEP Meeting- The IEP team meets at least once annually, to discuss the IEP. A team may call IEP meetings more often than that, as dictated by the student's needs.
504 Plan-A plan that is written to outline accommodations needed based on a student's medical needs.
OT- Occupational Therapist
SLP- Speech Language Pathologist
PT-Physical Therapist
Sped Teacher- Special Education Teacher
IEP-Individualized Education Program
For further details and definitions regarding special education visit:
The information on this website and included links is meant to provide general understanding of terminology. For any clarification, please ask questions. The most accurate information can be found in the, "Notice of Special Education Procedural Safeguards for Students and Their Families" green or blue booklet.

About Me

I have lived in Washington my entire life, and my children arethe sixth generation of my family to be born here. I grew up in a small town near Enumclaw, WA, that is now a full city with many stores and houses where the fields, meadows and forests used to be. My family and I have lived in Skagit County since 2002. My husband and I have two children, and both attend the Burlington-Edison School District. My son is at the High School, and my daughter goes to Bay View Elementary.

When not at school, we try to go out and do fun things with friends and family, even in the rain! I spend my time watching my kids participate in sports and activities, reading, coaching basketball, gardening, riding bikes (on easy trails only), hiking, having "Friday Movie Night" with my family, riding quads and dirt bikes on local trails, baking, kayaking, and going to the beach to collect rocks. If you see me out at the park, on a trail, or even at the store, come say, "Hi," I'd love to hear how your day is going!