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What does “adversely affecting educational performance” actually mean when considering speech services for a child? Does a child have to be failing to be considered eligible for speech services?

Expert answer

“Adversely affecting educational performance” is a phrase from the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). The interpretation of this phrase has been debated for many years. Many students are doing fine academically, but still have a speech impairment. Because school systems often include adequate oral communication as part of their performance standards, children with only a speech impairment can receive services.

For more information about IDEA and Special Education, visit the following sites:

You may find helpful information from the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (opens in a new window) (ASHA).

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