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ERIC Number: EJ909129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-1461
An Issue Hiding in Plain Sight: When Are Speech-Language Pathologists Special Educators Rather than Related Services Providers?
Giangreco, Michael F.; Prelock, Patricia A.; Turnbull, H. Rutherford, III
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, v41 n4 p531-538 Oct 2010
Purpose: Under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; as amended, 2004), speech-language pathology services may be either special education or a related service. Given the absence of guidance documents or research on this issue, the purposes of this clinical exchange are to (a) present and analyze the IDEA definitions related to speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and their roles, (b) offer a rationale for the importance of and distinction between their roles, (c) propose an initial conceptualization (i.e., flow chart) to distinguish between when an SLP should function as a related services provider versus a special educator, and (d) suggest actions to develop and disseminate a clearer shared understanding of this issue. Method: Federal definitions of special education and related services as related to SLPs are discussed in terms of determining special education eligibility, meeting student needs, ensuring SLPs are following their code of ethics and scope of practice, and facilitating appropriate personnel utilization and service delivery planning. Conclusion: Clarifying the distinction between special education and related services should lead to increased likelihood of appropriate services for students with disabilities, improved working conditions for SLPs, and enhanced collaboration among team members. This clinical exchange is meant to promote dialogue and research about this underexamined issue.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act