4. Educational Speech Pathology

In prior posts, we described a hybrid model of school assessment, derived from both medical and educational criteria.  “Assessment based on the traditional medical model brings forth a rich history of research and best practice. Assessment based on an academic performance brings forth the learning implications. A hybrid assessment model creates a valid framework for disability assessment in schools for the prevention of over-identification” (cf. SLI Definition for Eligibility).

Assessment should change to reflect the hybrid perspective.  One must consider the population of “struggling children” which includes both disabled and non-disabled children. The first aim is to sort out children who should not be placed in special education. The second is to support general education remedial services associated with RTI tiers, especially Tier 3.

For RTI, “dynamic assessment” comes into play, determining special education status through repeated measures of performance.  This procedure lessens dependency on “one-shot” assessments made with norm-referenced tests.  “Dynamic asssesment is an interactive approach to conducting assessments within the domains of psychology, speech/language pathology, or education, that focuses on the ability of learner to respond to intervention. Dynamic assessment is not a single package or procedure, but is both a model and philosophy of conducting assessments” (Peabody, 2010). 

Classroom evaluations can take on greater importance. 

For RTI, collaborative assessment is more likely.

Assessing phonology with respect to language and reading is a new direction.  RTI has a reading focus in most schools.

Prevention is more critical to hybrid approaches.  It starts with the question, “How do I evaluate speech, language, and literacy needs within a collaborative framework to keep children out of special education?”

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