What is it about?

Children with language difficulties can receive support services in the U.S. through the school system. However, the disability categories that are used to classify these students are vaguely defined and have a lot of overlap. We analyzed data released by the U.S. Department of Education and found that younger students tend to be identified with "Speech or Language Impairment (S/LI)" while older students tend to be identified with "Specific Learning Disability (SLD)." We discuss the possible effects of having changing labels, which include causing confusion for parents and educators.

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Why is it important?

Our findings confirm a widespread trend in the U.S. in which a child's age could impact their disability category label. This could potentially affect the types of support services they can receive and even result in gaps in services.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Speech/Language Impairment or Specific Learning Disability? Examining the Usage of Educational Categories, Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, February 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2022_jslhr-21-00636.
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