Speech and language skills are constantly developing in young children. This process is different for every child. However, there are guidelines to help us determine if a child’s speech and/or language is not developing normally.
Normally, you will see a large period of growth for speech sounds between the ages of 2 and 4. You may not understand everything a child says, and many sounds may be in error. BUT, this does not necessarily mean that a child has a speech disorder and/or will qualify for school based therapy.
So, how do we determine who will receive speech services in the schools?
The state sets forth guidelines for school systems to qualify students for speech and language services in the schools. The student must score at or below the 9th percentile on standardized testing or have co-existing problems, such as a medical diagnosis to receive school services.
Here is the rating scale used to determine whether or not a student will qualify for services to address speech sounds.
When determining whether or not a student qualifies for speech, we must refer to the assessment to rate: how well the child is able to be understood, the score on the standardized assessment, whether speech errors are typical (developmental and/or dialectal), common, or atypical, whether or not oral structure and function supports speech, and whether or not speech sound errors interfere with the educational performance.
Here is the rating scale used to determine whether or not a student qualifies for speech to address language.
When determining whether or not a student qualifies for language services, we must refer to the assessment to rate: the extent of impairment in form/structure (grammar, sentence formation), content semantics (word meanings and relationships), and use/pragmatics, as well as the score on the standarized assessment, and the extent of interference on educational performance.
Here is a link to find the rating scales for Fluency (stuttering) and Voice. These disorders occur much less often than disorders of speech and language, but it is not unusual for me to have a few students with Fluency disorders on my caseload each year.
-If you have concerns about your child's speech or language development, please contact me or discuss your concerns with your child's classroom teacher.