What is Speech and Language Support?
A program designed to meet the individual educational needs of each child identified as having a communication disorder in the area(s) of speech and/or language.
Who is eligible for Speech and Language Support Services?
A child will be eligible for Speech and Language Support Services if they meet criteria as outlined in federal and state education regulations.
• A child must have a speech and/or language impairment.
• The impairment must have a negative impact on educational performance.
• The child must demonstrate a need for specially designed instruction in order to be successful.
Who provides Speech and Language Support Services?
A Speech-Language Pathologist provides services to improve communication skills. Speech-Language Pathologists are professionally trained to screen, identify, assess, diagnose, refer and provide intervention for students with, or who are at risk for articulation, fluency, voice, language, communication, swallowing, and related disabilities. In addition to engaging in activities to reduce or prevent communication disabilities, Speech-Language Pathologists also counsel and educate families or professionals about these disorders and their management.
What are the Federal and State Laws/Regulations relating to Speech and Language Support Services?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) includes speech-language pathology as a related service and as special education. As related services, speech-language pathology is recognized as "...developmental, corrective, and other supportive services...as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education...and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children." Speech-language pathology is considered special education rather than a related service if the service consists of "specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, and in other settings".