In Texas, speech/language therapy is considered to be an instructional service. This means that it can be provided to students who have only the eligibility of speech impairment (SI), as well as to students who are SI in addition to some other identified disability. In considering the provision of speech/language services, all the same requirements associated with the delivery of related services must be identified, e.g., frequency, location, and duration of services.
Students who are identified as speech impaired (SI) have been identified through the evaluation process as having a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment, that adversely affects their educational performance. The severity of the impairment is measured and will guide the type of interventions needed.
Speech/language therapy is provided to eligible students between the ages of 3 and 22. SIeligible students may have other special education eligibilities in addition to speech, or may have SI as the only eligibility under which they receive services. Services are provided by a certified speech therapist, a licensed speech/language pathologist (SLP), or an assistant speech language pathologist (SLPA), under the supervision of an SLP. Students may have direct and/or indirect speech services, and may be seen in individual or small group sessions.
The goals of speech/language therapy are to:
- improve expressive, receptive and total communication or language skills;
- enable other school staff to support good speech/language skills in SI students;
- promote parental involvement in the student’s speech/language skills.
Speech therapy may be provided in the speech therapy room or in the general education or special education classroom. For students who are enrolled in school, speech/language therapy is provided during the school day, according to a schedule established by the ARD/IEP committee. For children who are younger than school age (3 to 5), speech/language therapy may be offered at the home school campus during the regular school day at times when the parent brings the child to the campus for services, also according to a schedule established by the ARD/IEP committee.