Speech and/or Language Disorder


A speech and/or language disorder must be diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist. The speech-language pathologist will determine severity of the disorder based on the results of a speech and/or language assessment. The speech-language pathologist may also recommend further assessment. In districts without speech and language services, other arrangements may be considered to identify students with these exceptionalities.

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Speech Disorder

Students who have a mild to severe speech disorder meet the exceptionality. Speech disorders include articulation, voice, and fluency (stuttering) disorders.

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Language Disorder

Students who have a moderate to severe language disorder meet the exceptionality. A language disorder may involve one or more of the following areas: receptive language, expressive language, pragmatics, language processing and phonological awareness.

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Students diagnosed with a speech and/or language disorder may require a range of school based services depending on level of need and functioning. Programming decisions are made by the student’s program planning team.

Not every student with this exceptionality will receive direct service from the speech-language pathologist. The school district speech-language pathologist will determine the appropriate programming and service to best meet the student’s needs. Speech-language services may include any or all of the following:

  • assessment with interpretation for the IEP team and follow-up
  • direct intervention
  • teacher conferencing
  • classroom intervention
  • student monitoring
  • home programs

Programming decisions are made by the student’s program planning team and may include accommodations or alternate programs. In extreme cases, modified prescribed or alternate curricular courses may be required. Caution must be exercised in this regard since such modified prescribed and alternate courses (below grade level) may adversely impact graduation and post-secondary options.

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