Guest Post: Eligibility and Dismissal Criteria

SLP Michelle Ostrow writes:  Over the years I have found it harder and harder to dismiss students for speech-language support services.  Even with eligibility criteria in place, parents just don’t seem to understand that there comes a time when students are no longer eligible.  I wanted to come up with language that I could start using in my reports to help support not only dismissal, but also eligibility.  I found this wonderful article on ASHA’s website that highlighted 3 key points for eligibility.  I now use these statements in all my evaluation reports as well as on the permission to evaluate forms.  This gives the parents a heads up, right out of the gate, on how we determine eligibility for services.  I have found these 3 questions to be an essential component in my report writing and how I support eligibility.

Determination of eligibility for special education services is a multistage process that should answer three questions:

  1. Is there a disability?
  2. If so, is there an adverse effect on educational performance resulting from the disability?
  3. If so, are specially designed instruction and/or related services and supports needed to help the student make progress in the general education curriculum?

Michelle Ostrow is a school-age SLP in Bucks County, PA.  She is also co-creator of one of my favorite therapy games, Grammar Gumballs, available from Super Duper, Inc.  You can find more of Michelle’s materials on her TPT page “Speech Rocks.”


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