Highlights for Families New to Speech Language Pathology Services
ASHA provides information to help parents/guardians understand school-based services
Rockville, Md., August 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As children across the country return to class, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is offering families information about speech-language services in schools.
Each year, more than one million students between the ages of 3 and 21 receive special education services for speech and language disorders in public schools. These students typically work with speech therapists (speech therapists), professionals who help people of all ages with communication and swallowing disorders.
“Understanding how the special education process works can seem overwhelming, but this information can help families learn how schools can better meet their child’s unique needs, working with parents and guardians,” said the president. of ASHA. rich judy, EdD, CCC-SLP, BCS-CL. “Speech-language pathology services can enable students to reach their full academic potential and be confident communicators who thrive socially.”
Here are 10 facts for families to keep in mind if their child begins services this school year:
- Speech therapy services are part of the Special Education Act. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal special education law that guarantees students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education. As such, students who receive speech therapy services at school and their guardians have certain legal rights and protections. Students must be deemed eligible for services (more details below), which begin with an assessment.
- Parents/guardians must consent to an assessment. The school must obtain permission from a family before conducting a speech and language assessment. Parents/guardians can request an assessment themselves by contacting a school official, such as their child’s teacher or principal. Alternatively, school staff may contact families when they believe a student should receive an assessment. Family members provide key information, including medical and educational history as well as any specific concerns.
- Speech-language pathologists conduct assessments in the language(s) used by the student—not only spoken English. For students who use more than one language, the assessment should be conducted in their language through a bilingual speech-language pathologist or a speech-language pathologist working with an interpreter. Families also have the right to an interpreter at all meetings and to written information in the language of their choice, if necessary.
- Speech-language pathology services respond to a range of challenges. Treatment by speech therapists in schools can help students who have difficulty speaking, listening, reading and writing; social communication; memory, problem-solving and thinking skills; and eat and drink.
- A student’s needs and goals are documented in an Individual Education Program (IEP). After the school completes an assessment and produces a written report, a team consisting of school staff and the student’s family meets to decide if the student is eligible for special education. In order to determine if a student meets the requirements to need an IEP to help them access the educational environment, the team answers three questions:
- Is there a disability?
- If so, does the child’s disability have a negative effect on his or her school results?
- If so, are specially designed instructions and/or related services and supports necessary to help the student progress through the general education program?
Learn more about speech therapy services in schools on the ASHA website.
Media Contact: Francine Pierson | 301-296-8715
SOURCE American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)