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COMPLIANCE TUTORIAL

Why is a speech-only referral limited to articulation, voice, and/or fluency?

NJAC 6A:14-3.3(e)4 and 5 says: For students ages five to 21, when the suspected disability includes a language disorder, the child study team, the parent, a speech-language specialist and the general education teacher of the student who has knowledge of the student's educational performance or if there is no teacher of the student, a teacher who is knowledgeable about the district's programs shall participate in the meeting to decide whether to evaluate and the nature and scope of the evaluation.


For students ages five to 21, when the suspected disability is a disorder of voice, articulation and/or fluency only, the decision to evaluate and the determination of the nature and scope of the evaluation shall be according to (e) above, except that the meeting shall include the speech-language specialist, the parent and the general education teacher of the student who has knowledge of the student's educational performance or if there is no teacher of the student, a teacher who is knowledgeable about the district's programs.


Why do I have to document the educational impact?  The student gets good grades, but there is clearly something wrong with the way he talks!

NJAC 6A: 14-3.6(a, b) says that to be eligibile for speech and/or language services, a student must display a speech disorder in articulation, phonology, fluency, voice, or any combination,  unrelated to dialect, cultural differences or the influence of a foreign language which adversely affects his educational performance. Documentation of the educational impact of the speech problem shall be provided by the student's teacher. 


You want to refer a general education student for a speech-only referral.


Okay!  In order for your referral to be as effective and efficient as possible, you should complete the following steps:


​1.  First, make sure that this is really a speech-only referral.  For a speech-only referral, the general education

student is only experiencing difficulties with voice, pronunciation, and/or fluency (stuttering.)  No language difficulties such as answering questions, retaining or processing information, or following directions are cited. Additionally, any difficulties with pronunciation must not be developmental in nature. To check if your student's speech is age-appropriate, click the link below. The END of the bar shows the age at which a student should be saying each sound correctly.






So if your student is 5 years old and has difficulty with the "r" sound and the "s" sound, he will most likely not be eligible for speech therapy yet.  He may just need some extra time to develop those sounds.


2.  Document the impact that the student's speech problems have on his educational performance.  This can be accomplished through work samples, report cards, and by filling out the appropriate speech surveys below.








3.  Make contact with the student's parent(s).  It's important for parents to be aware of and involved in the CST referral process from the beginning.  Document any contact you have with the parent (phone call, conversation, report card conference, etc.) and the result of that contact.


PLEASE NOTE: Before referring a student to the Speech Therapist for voice concerns, please contact the student’s parent and suggest that the student be seen by his/her pediatrician.  A voice referral cannot proceed until medical causes are ruled out.


4.  Next, the student must be referred to your school's Intervention and Referral Services Team (I&RST).  According to NJAC 6A:16-8.2, before a referral can be made, the I&RST must: 

     a. Identify the learning, behavior, or health difficulty of the student 

     b. Develop and implement an action plan to address the difficulty

     c. Maintain records of all interventions

     d. Review and assess the effectiveness of each action plan in achieving the identified outcome and    

         modifying the action plan as appropriate.