Did you know that speech therapy is available to every child who needs it through your local public school?

It’s true!

Because of the way our education law is written, any child who lives in the service area for a public school is entitled to receive special education services (if they need those services) free of charge through that school. If the child is not enrolled at the school then the parents have to bring the student to the school during school hours for their weekly speech therapy time, but all services are free and provided in the same manner as for students attending the school. I see students who are homeschooled, attend private school, or attend preschool who live in my school’s area.

How do you get started?

If you think your child may need speech therapy or other learning help, the first step is to call your local school district and request a special education evaluation. They will route you to the appropriate person who will go through the process with you.

  1. You will meet with a special education team from the school, share your concerns, and decide together whether to do an evaluation.
  2. If you and the team decide it’s warranted, the team will do an evaluation. This involves testing your child on various skills (academic, cognitive, language, etc), observations, and probably filling out some questionnaires.
  3. At the end of the evaluation you reconvene with the team and everyone shares their findings. If your child is found to have needs that require speech therapy or other educational services, the team will go over the options for providing those services to your child. You can always refuse the services if they don’t fit with your family’s needs.

This afternoon I am meeting with a family and the rest of the team to do step 3 – share the evaluation results and offer services. This student attends a private school, but could use some help with academics and speech therapy. I’m excited to share the findings with his family to help them understand their son, and maybe help him to start doing better in school!

**Political note**

Sorry, I can’t help it. 🙂

The services I just described are available through any PUBLIC school. Charter schools or private schools ARE NOT required to provide services to enable students with disabilities to receive an appropriate education, and in fact, they most often do not provide these services. Please keep this in mind while you are voting. Charter schools or private schools, whatever benefits they provide to typically developing kids, are often a very poor option for students with special needs. Your local PUBLIC school is legally required to provide an appropriate education to ALL students, regardless of disability. This is a beautiful thing. Please, help me to protect it by voting to support PUBLIC EDUCATION. 🙂

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