Classification: CHANGING CLASSIFICATION ON IEP, TERMINATING SERVICES

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Trish:  I am a speech clinician in a school district, assigned to Middle & High. I’ve been told students classified Speech Lang.Impaired, must receive speech services. If the student has received services since pre-k and is now in HS, but continues to need placement in special class/supports, can they continue with their SLI classification without continuing the related service? The psychologist has indicated based on their testing scores, they don’t qualify for LD classification. So when the CSE agrees to terminate speech services, the parent is told that declassification must occur, even though the student struggles in a self contained class.

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Trish –

Although it is likely that a student classified under speech impairment will need speech therapy, it is certainly no requirement. In fact, requiring students to be receiving speech services in order to qualify under speech impairment likely violates IDEA.

In the commentary to the 2004 regulations OSEP states clearly that, “services must meet the child’s needs and cannot be determined by the child’s eligibility category.”

The eligibility category is supposed to be used for data collecting purposes only, and should have absolutely no bearing on what services and support the student needs. Those should be determined by his or her specific individual needs, as determined by evaluation.

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