Appropriate Implementation of Severity Ratings, Regulations, and State Guidance: A Response to “Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Severity of Language Impairment in Children: Disconnect Between U.S. Policy Makers and Test Developers” by Spaulding, Szulga, & Figueria (2012) The stated purpose of “Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Severity of Language Impairment in Children: Disconnect Between U.S. Policy Makers and Test Developers” (Spaulding, Szulga, & Figueria, 2012) was “to identify criteria for determining severity of children's language impairment adopted by U.S. state education departments, with emphasis on the ... Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   July 01, 2013
Appropriate Implementation of Severity Ratings, Regulations, and State Guidance: A Response to “Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Severity of Language Impairment in Children: Disconnect Between U.S. Policy Makers and Test Developers” by Spaulding, Szulga, & Figueria (2012)
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marie Ireland
    Virginia Department of Education, Richmond
  • Shannon Hall-Mills
    Florida State University, Tallahassee
  • Cindy Millikin
    Colorado Department of Education, Denver
  • Correspondence to Marie Ireland: marie.ireland@doe.virginia.gov
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz
    Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Regulatory, Legislative & Advocacy / Language Disorders / Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   July 01, 2013
Appropriate Implementation of Severity Ratings, Regulations, and State Guidance: A Response to “Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Severity of Language Impairment in Children: Disconnect Between U.S. Policy Makers and Test Developers” by Spaulding, Szulga, & Figueria (2012)
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2013, Vol. 44, 320-323. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/12-0048)
History: Received May 22, 2012 , Revised September 24, 2012 , Accepted November 20, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2013, Vol. 44, 320-323. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/12-0048)
History: Received May 22, 2012; Revised September 24, 2012; Accepted November 20, 2012
The stated purpose of “Using Norm-Referenced Tests to Determine Severity of Language Impairment in Children: Disconnect Between U.S. Policy Makers and Test Developers” (Spaulding, Szulga, & Figueria, 2012) was “to identify criteria for determining severity of children's language impairment adopted by U.S. state education departments, with emphasis on the role of norm referenced tests” (Spaulding et al., p. 177). The authors' examination of state education agency (SEA) guidance on severity ratings overlooks (a) variations in the use of severity ratings among states, (b) the legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA, 2004), (c) individual state regulations pertaining to the evaluation of students suspected of having a disability, and (d) state requirements for determination of eligibility and the need for special education and related services. Without attention to these specific areas, the article provides an incomplete view of current practices in public schools. Ultimately, school speech-language pathologists (SLPs) must follow all state regulations and local policies and procedures and should be aware of nonbinding guidance available to assist members of the individualized education program (IEP) team in making a determination of need for services regardless of any severity rating.
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