Speech Therapy

What Law Says About Speech Therapy

In the year 1975, the Education For All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142) was passed. Which resulted in special education trainings for physically challenged children in separate classrooms. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) was the blueprint for the education plan of every child. This laws has been amended now. Recent legislation is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA 97).

The branching of IDEA in school-age children says that the speech-language pathology is a remediation model. The most important factors is to identify and asses the disability conditions in a child as soon as possible. Only then utmost benefits may be attained out of the special education plans. According to a remediation model, services can be provided only in cases where documented details are present about the problem and the performed tests.

Bu using the IEP, funding can be done by the Public Law 99-457 to children aging between 3-5 years. Funds may also be provided in children aging from birth to 3 years for their early intervention services. Individualized Family service Plan (IFSP) may also be employed as the family’s service plan. These can be done for all those who are going through developmental delays or have conditions that may lead them to developmental problems. Family is kept as the central to the whole treatment process. This is according to the ramification done to the Public Law 99-457. When the child grows to 3 years, the IFSP changes to IEP, i.e. a switch from the prevention mode to the remediation mode. And services associated with them are also changed.

IDEA 97 is still continuing to fund early intervention services for children below 3 years of age. This was made mandatory under the Public Law 99-457. All early intervention sections are under the Part C of IDEA 97. But speech language therapy is designed for children more than 3 years. It covers physical development, adaptive development, communication development, cognitive development and social development. Under IDEA 97, a child below 3 years of age can undergo speech and language evaluation and treatments; audiological examinations and treatments; examinations and treatments for feeding problems; opting for treatment costs; assistance from communication devices and transportation costs.

Part A of IDEA 97 refers to initial therapy options through secondary school. Services are likely to be delivered on school site for elementary to high school aged children. All statutes of IDEA 97 states that services should be provided in a ‘natural environment’ meaning the classroom. Classroom teachers, speech-language therapists work together to provide special education. The legislation makes the funding of educators, special education educators, and classroom assistants mandatory by making them a part of the IEP team.

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