5. SLP Dismissal / Exits

We lack data on speech-language dismissals in schools. Here is one case study example of neglected dismissals.

A speech-language pathologist returned to work in a school district she once served . The special education director approached her and said she must do something about exiting special education pupils from the high school. She gained the impression there had been quite an accumulation.

One of the older pupils whose records she reviewed had been her client in the first grade. In fact she had established eligibility on the basis of a diagnosing an auditory processing problem. Now she found him still enrolled the high school special education program. The mother had to be convinced of the need to exit the young man. Required was retesting for auditory processing abilities. The signs were negative and the young man was dismissed.

In all, the SLP dismissed some 25 pupils from the high school. A review of records indicated IEP teams had simply renewed IEPs yearly without regard for disability re-evaluation. The pupils were “passed on” so to speak.

It is likely that some of the children never had disabilities in the first place. They were “re-misidentified” year after year while carrying the stigma of special education placement. A proactive special education director made the difference.

The thoughts of Linda Schrock Taylor come back into focus:

“Every year, thousands of our children disappear into the vagueness of special placements, never to be released from the labels and stigma; never to escape and again be seen as ‘normal.’ Many teachers must notice this engulfing, this entrapment, of our children; some teachers must surely strive to defeat this grave and senseless closure on potential; but the problem is rarely mentioned or discussed” (Linda Schrock Taylor).

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