Texas Solution

Write and Bankston (ASHA Leader, 2009) filed a report on the Texas solution to over-identification. The Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association (TSHA) launched an SLP training project in conjunction with the Texas Education Agency. Guidelines for identifying students with speech and language impairments were developed and used for a state-wide training program. “The effort began in 1999 when school-based professionals concerned about high caseloads and over-identification of students with speech impairments met during the TSHA annual convention.” Consistent identification was the aim.
A cultural diversity “template” was included. “To date, 63% of of districts/cooperatives/shared service arrangements (SSAs) in Texas received training…” in various disorders.

Follow up surveys indicated a high percentage of SLPs favoring implementation of the guidelines for articulation eligibility determination. Some 92% of respondents indicated better identification of articulation problems. “More than 75% indicated a decrease in the number of children identified as having an articulation disorder…” Consistency of judgment was a reported outcome.

Some “…70% indicated receiving more support from special education staff in their districts following implementation.”

“Responses to training issues revealed challenges: 54% reported limited time to train the SLPs in their districts, 47% reported resistance to change, and 11% reported lack of administrative support.”

The project was highlighted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association under the title, “For Districts with Disproportionate (Over) Identification of Students with Speech Impairment (SI)” Further implementation of the Guidelines for training purposes received state funding support (Texas Report).

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