Special Education Eligibility As a bilingual speech therapist working in the schools, I was dismayed by the lack of clarity and detail contained in the case studies presented by Dr. Power-de Fur in her article “Special Education Eligibility: When Is a Speech-Language Impairment Also a Disability?” In two of the case studies, those ... Inbox
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Special Education Eligibility
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Inbox   |   June 01, 2011
Special Education Eligibility
The ASHA Leader, June 2011, Vol. 16, 37. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.16062011.37
The ASHA Leader, June 2011, Vol. 16, 37. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.16062011.37
As a bilingual speech therapist working in the schools, I was dismayed by the lack of clarity and detail contained in the case studies presented by Dr. Power-de Fur in her article “Special Education Eligibility: When Is a Speech-Language Impairment Also a Disability?”
In two of the case studies, those of “Sam” and “Aaron,” we would need to look at the specific findings of the medical team, as the educational and medical models differ in significant ways and eligibility in one setting does not automatically imply eligibility in the other setting.
In the case study involving “Maria” there are a host of unanswered questions: Having spent a mere nine months in her new home, couldn’t she still be in the “catch-up” period cited by Sharon Glennen in her excellent 2008 ASHA Leader article regarding the speech and language of internationally adopted children? How did the eligibility team find that she has vocabulary delays? Was she tested only in English? Was any information collected regarding her language-learning pattern as a younger child in Guatemala?
The task of deciding which children qualify for speech treatment in the school environment is a complex and difficult one. Although I appreciate the attempt by The ASHA Leader and Dr. Power-de Fur to address this issue, I wish it had been presented with more specificity and detail.
Kathy Krikorian Seattle, Washington
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June 2011
Volume 16, Issue 6