Children with communication (speech or language impairments) are eligible for special education services. Criteria include:

  1. A speech or language impairment means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, which adversely affects a child’s learning.
  2. A child is classified as having a speech or language impairment whose speech is unintelligible much of the time, or who has been professionally diagnosed as having speech impairments which require intervention or who is professionally diagnosed as having a delay in development in his or her primary language which requires intervention.
  3. A language disorder may be receptive or expressive. A language disorder may be characterized by difficulty in understanding and producing language, including word meanings (semantics), the components of words (morphology), the components of sentences (syntax), or the conventions or conversation (pragmatics).
  4. A speech disorder occurs in the production of speech sounds (articulation), the loudness, pitch, or quality of voice (voicing), or the rhythm of speech (fluency).
  5. A child should not be classified as having a speech or language impairment whose speech or language differences may be attributed to:
    1. Cultural, ethnic, bilingual, or dialectical differences or being non-English speaking;
    2. Disorders of a temporary nature due to conditions such as a dental problem;
    3. Delays in developing the ability to articulate only the most difficult consonants or blends of sounds within the broad general range for the child’s age.

This policy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45CFR Section 1304.21.1308.9
It was approved by Policy Council on April 8, 1997.

Updated June 2008