As parents, we carefully track our child’s milestones, beginning from the time they are just babies. One of these milestones is babbling, which eventually leads to your child’s first words, and then moves on to speaking in sentences. So, if your child falls behind in their language development and develops an impairment, you may wonder how it will affect their education.
Children with certain impairments in New York are entitled to assistance and accommodations in the classroom. These aids are generally agreed upon by educators and parents through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). In order to qualify for an IEP, your child must meet one of 13 disability classifications. One of these classifications is a speech or language impairment.
What is a speech or language impairment?
A child has a speech or language impairment if they have a communication disorder. This could include a stutter, poor articulation or a voice or language impairment that renders it difficult for your child to either understand what is being said to them or that renders it difficult for your child to express themselves.
What is included in an IEP?
If your child qualifies for an IEP due to a speech impairment, it is important to understand what that IEP will include. Generally, an IEP:
- Describes how your child is doing in the classroom, academically, physically and socially
- Contains measurable annual goals
- Includes a report updating you on the progress your child is making in the classroom
- Details what programs and services your child needs to be able to participate and progress in school
- Describes how your child will participate with non-disabled peers in school
- Describes whether your child will participate in district and state standardized tests
It is important that if you do not agree with some portion of your child’s IEP for speech impairments that you bring it to the attention of your child’s school. If the school is uncooperative or otherwise ignores your concerns, it may be time to seek legal assistance.