Mrs. Francine Gulino

Phone: (610) 932-6632 x6635


Degrees and Certifications:

BS Chemistry BA English MA English MA Communication Science and Disorders

Mrs. Francine Gulino

I am the speech language pathologist for Nottingham Elementary School. have been a speech language pathologist since 2013. Speech and language support is my second career, as I used to teach composition and literature at the college level.  I am a local resident with a high school junior attending the Avon Grove School District and a college student at Millersville University. I love the warm atmosphere of Oxford Area School District and I love working here. I particularly have an interest in therapies for children on the autism spectrum, as I have a family member on the spectrum.

  • Straight Talk about Speech and Language 

    Welcome to Straight talk about speech and language.  This is a new blog that will address issues that might come up in your child's speech or language.  Today we are going to talk about speech articulation.

  • February focus is on active verbs!

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 2/9/2020

    It's February.tWe are a little over half way through our year.  The students have been working hard on their goals.  Whether they are working on howto say their sounds or what to say, please help them by supporting them in their homework and talking together.

     Did you know that I have a quizlet account and that your students can practice some language skills by usiing this app? If you are interested in becoming part of my classroom, set up a quizlet account and enter the following code:  WQP9tV6jM  

    Student iPads have access to quizlet at school so they can practice their skills if they have free time. You can also practice them at home on a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

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  • January Starts with Pokemon Day!

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 1/7/2020

    Pichu card

    Pokemon Day

    Hello and I hope you are ready  for a new year!  This month we started out with a bang -- or should I say a Thundershock!  January 2nd was Pokemon Day.  Twenty three of my students participated (which is almost half of my caseload).  They came in, picked a pokemon, described it, explained how it was the same/different from another Pokemon, and finally made their own Pokemon cards using a tool on the internet.  I have uploaded one of the cards so you can see.  

    I am attaching a link to the Pokemon Card Creator that we used to produce these cards.  It is here.


    Goal Board

    The rest of this month, we will focus on goals.  We will make a goal board where we count how many speech goals we master for the year 2020.  I will also share my own personal goals with the students.  When it is finished, I will post it on the website.  Perhaps you might want to speak with your child about your own goals this month.

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  • December Activity: Exploring Categories

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 12/12/2019

    Since the end of November, the students have had an extra opportunity to work on categorizing and describing common objects.  We have been posting the name of a category on the wall outside the speech room.  Then students are given the opportunity to name an item in the category and list three important attributes of that item.  Then they can perform a task with the item -- either make a definition or compare it to another item -- and hang it on the wall afterwards.  If they do this task, they can earn a swedish fish or a Hershey Kiss.  

    Talking about categories helps students organize information in their minds.  It is not so difficult to do with everyday items like vehicles, farm animals, or parts of a house as we are doing in speech. It gets very difficult when they are asked to do the same tasks to talk about two passages in a story or two characters.  Or even two properties of matter. But the principals of the activity are the same.

    So talk about Categories in your house.  Ask your child to describe things for you.  To help you, I have uploaded a copy of the word web we used in class. I have also provided two links to games you can play at home. The first is like a board game; the second is an onlline game.  Have fun!

    Beginning of Week Three:  Things in a House

    Beginning of Week Three:  Things in a house 


    Word Web Sheet for you to use at home ---Small Word Webs

    Links to games you can play about categories:

    NameCategory Game -- for groups

     the Category -- online game

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  • Our blankets are on their way to AI Dupont

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 11/17/2019

    Blankets from Speech students


    The blankets we knotted in speech last month are on their way to AI Dupont hospital. There they will find homes with children. Thank you speech students for your hard work.

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  • Learning about Generosity, Gratitude and Empathy

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 10/22/2019

    In the months of October and November, the students in speech and language support are going to help me make two fleece blankets to give to children at A.I. Dupont hospital.  This project is a way to help students feel good about themselves as they learn new skills.  Some of the skills we will work on are following directions, telling narratives, making and learning new definitions, describing things, and, of course, all while using our good speech sounds. date Here are some pictures of the project as it begins.  We will keep you updated.  

    Meanwhile, November conferences are approaching. Please let the office know if you would like to meet with me.  You can also just stop in to get some hands on practice on helping your child work on speech homework.

    Superhero blanket Unicorn Blanket -- we'll start that next!

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  • When should I refer my child for speech and language screening?

    Posted by Francine Gulino on 9/27/2019

    The subject of the first blog of the year is the referral process.  If your child is a school-aged student, they may qualify to receive some sort of speech and language support.  Here are several reasons your child may need to go through this process so that he or she can be screened by a speech language professional.

    Referrals for speech

    Speech articulation is the way that we use our lips, tongue, teeth, and jaw to create the sounds of speech.  Each language has its own particular sounds. Children begin to learn these sounds when they begin babbling and continue to learn them.  Most children should have all the sounds needed to speak their language between 6 and 8 years old.  However, others do not learn to use these sounds.  Instead, they may replace them with other sounds or omit them entirely. This is why little children might say 'cah' instead of 'car' or 'thit down ' instead of 'sit down'.   

    If your child is school aged and not saying some of their speech sounds correctly, they may need help from a speech and language professional.  If you have any concerns, please let your teacher know. They will send you a referral form to fill out so that the speech language pathologist assigned to your school can screen your child and let you know what they think should happen next.

    Some children say their speech sounds correctly, but they get caught on some sounds. This influences their speech fluency. If your child's speech is 'bumpy' this is another reason to ask for a speech screening.

    Referrals for language

    Speech language pathologists also help children develop more complex language. If your school-aged child seems to have difficulty speaking in complete sentences or understanding what you are saying to them, they may have a language impairment.  If they tend to use words like 'thingy' and 'you know' to explain themselves, or tend to tell stories using sounds and gestures rather than words, that might mean they have difficulty expressing themselves.  If they cannot follow multistep directions or understand a simple oral narrative, they may have difficulties with listening comprehension.  Typically these children struggle in school as well.  If you have any concerns, please speak to your teacher.  If the teacher is seeing similar issues at school, a referral to have the speech language professional screen the child's language skills can be issued.  

    If you have further questions, please contact me at

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What is Speech and Language Support?

  • Speech and Language Support is a therapy offered by the school district. It offers support to students with speech and language impairments. In order to receive speech and language support, your child must have had an evaluation through OASD or another school district in PA. Within 30 days an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) would have been developed that listed speech and language support as a service.

    Speech and Language disabilities generally fall into the following categories:

    1. Expressive language delays/disorders

    This is a complicated way to say that the student has difficulty using language in their everyday life. They may be fine asking for breakfast or playing with friends, but when they have to do more complex tasks, such as explain how something works or write a story, it becomes more difficult for them. Vocabulary is often limited.

    2. Receptive language delays/disorders

    This is a complicated way of saying that the student has difficulty understanding what others are saying.  Again, they can usually understand simple, short sentences, but it is hard for them to process longer sentences and follow multi-step directions.  Vocabulary is often limited.

    3. Speech Sound delays/disorders

    Some students have difficulty using a one or more sounds in language. In third and fourth grade, usually the sound is r or s, sometimes sh or th. It is usually harder for them to say these sounds in conversation than it is for them to say the sounds in individual words.

    4.  Fluency

    When some students speak, they repeat sounds and words. They may also have accompanying secondary characteristics such as blinking, frowning, or coughing. We often call lack of fluency stuttering.

    5. Pragmatic Language or social communication delays/disorders

    Some students have difficulty using their language to communicate socially. They often do not see the 'hidden rules' of social interaction and will speak too quickly, interrupt, be unable to ask questions and/or explain things to others. They often have difficulty making friends and writing longer stories. Some of them may be on the autism spectrum.  Students with pragmatic language disorders will also have difficulty telling a story or using their language effectively to get what they want.

    When a delay/deficit is determined by the special education department, typically an intervention is undertaken. If a delay/deficit is not documented, generally intervention is not supported by the IEP.

    Intervention comes in two forms:  specially designed instruction and goals.

    Specially designed instruction includes all of the ways that the teachers, therapists, and staff can adapt and modify the student's environment or tasks to help them learn better. It can be as simple as giving them a special pencil or reducing the number of spelling words they learn to receiving pull-out therapy or needing a Personal Care Assistant (PCA).  

    Goals are tasks that students are expected to improve on over the course of a year. In therapy we work on improving at these tasks, and then data is collected at least once a month to see if the student is doing better with it. For example, a student may say the word 'wed' for red before therapy. After a few months, they may say 'red' when they use individual words, but still use 'wed' when they are talking in class. Eventually, we want them to say 'wed' all of the time. Collecting data lets us see when a student has finally mastered their task, or goal. 

How can I help my children achieve their speech and language goals?

  • I am asked this question fairly often by parents. The answer may surprise you. No special programs or flashcards are necessary. Children improve their language in two important ways at home: by listening to/speaking with parents and friends and by reading/listening to stories.

    Engage your child as you do activities together.  

    Label the ingredients when you cook and talk about the steps you take for the recipe.

    Talk about what you see when you walk or drive. When you are at the grocery store ask them to identify/find the foods that you eat and seek out and label others.

    Play I spy or Twenty Questions when you are driving.

    Let all siblings get a chance to talk. Try to cultivate an environment that gives even the quietest children a chance to speak their  mind without interruption. Sometimes you can have an item that people hold -- like a stone or a stick -- that means they get to be the talker. Nobody can talk until it is their turn to hold the "talking stick."

    Try to listen carefully to your child when he or she speaks. If she has a speech sound disorder, don't correct the child's speech but list time to its content first. Then arrange ahead a time that you can work on speech together.

    Nobody is super human.  This kind of behavior is hard to do when you are busy, stressed, rushed, and frustrated. But if you can put aside time each week to try and cultivate these activities, this is the best kind of speech homework your child can do!