Variability in Interpreting “Educational Performance” for Children With Speech Sound Disorders Purpose Speech sound disorders (SSDs) can have a negative impact on literacy development, social–emotional well-being, and participation across the life span. Despite this, many public schools do not provide appropriate or timely services to this population of children. In large part, this is a result of variation in how state ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 24, 2018
Variability in Interpreting “Educational Performance” for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kelly Farquharson
    Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Lisa Boldini
    Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Lisa Boldini is now at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Broomfield, CO
    Lisa Boldini is now at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Broomfield, CO×
  • Correspondence to Kelly Farquharson, who is now at Florida State University, Tallahassee: kelly.farquharson@cci.fsu.edu
  • Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray
    Editor-in-Chief: Shelley Gray×
  • Editor: Ignatius Nip
    Editor: Ignatius Nip×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 24, 2018
Variability in Interpreting “Educational Performance” for Children With Speech Sound Disorders
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2018, Vol. 49, 938-949. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0159
History: Received December 28, 2017 , Revised April 10, 2018 , Accepted May 8, 2018
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2018, Vol. 49, 938-949. doi:10.1044/2018_LSHSS-17-0159
History: Received December 28, 2017; Revised April 10, 2018; Accepted May 8, 2018

Purpose Speech sound disorders (SSDs) can have a negative impact on literacy development, social–emotional well-being, and participation across the life span. Despite this, many public schools do not provide appropriate or timely services to this population of children. In large part, this is a result of variation in how state and local agencies interpret “educational performance” as outlined within the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. The purpose of this study was to explore which educational performance factors speech-language pathologists (SLPs) consider when determining eligibility for children with SSDs.

Method This study surveyed public school SLPs to investigate how educational performance is interpreted for children with SSDs. Data from 575 SLPs across the United States are included.

Results Results supported variability in interpretation of educational performance within a nationwide sample of SLPs. Specifically, SLPs appear to consider educational performance as multidimensional. We also found within-state and between-states variability, indicating ambiguity in interpreting federal mandates. Finally, caseload size and number of years of experience were significantly related to which educational performance factors SLPs chose.

Conclusion There is significant variability across the United States with respect to factors considered part of educational performance for children with SSD. This variability reflects the general quality and specificity of guidelines and/or special education code published by individual states. Clinical and legislative recommendations are included.

Acknowledgments
We are thankful for the speech-language pathologists who took the time to provide us with this robust data. We also express gratitude to Sherine Tambyraja, Katy Cabbage, and Tiffany Hogan and to Kaila Stipancic and Megan Schliep for their feedback on previous versions of this manuscript.
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