Proposed School Eligibility Criterion Changes
Dyslexia Task Force Update
School Certification and Licensure
Eligibility Criteria for Sound System Disorders
in Missouri Public Schools
Substitute SLPs & Missed Therapy Sessions
Request to DESE for Recognition
Statement: Missed Sessions in Missouri Public Schools
Early Childhood News
School Affairs News
Frequently Asked Questions
Student Services Certificate Update
Vice President for School Services,
Patricia Jones MS, CCC-SLP
Welcome to the School Services News!!! This portion of the MSHA website is designed to provide information related to practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Missouri public schools and in Early Childhood Special Education settings. MSHA members’ suggestions for additions or changes in the format of the Schools News section are appreciated. You can comment by emailing Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org
1/8/2018: Proposed Speech-Language Eligibility Changes Update
For several years, MSHA and MO-CASE have been communicating with DESE about a possible review and revision of the speech-language eligibility criterion, specifically the language criterion. In 2016, the faculty at Saint Louis University submitted a letter to DESE asking for a review and revision of the outdated language eligibility criterion. Over the years, all other states have removed cognitive referencing from their eligibility criterion for language and Missouri was the last state standing. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has not approved the use of cognitive referencing since 2002. ASHA’s position statement regarding access to communication services and supports and several other supporting documents are located on the ASHA website.
As a result of all of the ongoing communication, a work group between MSHA, MO-CASE, DESE and other stakeholders was convened in 2016 to begin the work to revise the eligibility criteria. MSHA was well represented in this work group through current board members, past board members and members. Additionally, non-MSHA member speech-language pathologists also participated in the work group. The task of the work group was completed in early 2017. The recommendations of the work group were presented at the MO-CASE Collaborative Conference in March 2017 and the MSHA Annual Convention in April 2017. The final recommendations of the work group for the proposed speech-language eligibility changes were submitted to DESE in April 2017.
Many other states also have some sort of handbook or guideline document for school-based speech-language pathologists. The work group also agreed that MSHA should take the lead on developing a guideline/handbook document for Missouri school-based speech-language pathologists and this project has the support of DESE, MO-CASE and ASHA. In fact, an ASHA State Association Grant has been awarded to MSHA for this project. This handbook project is in process. Presentations at the MO-CASE Collaborative Conference in March 2018 and at the MSHA Annual Convention in April 2018 will provide updates to attendees regarding the status of the eligibility criterion as well as the handbook.
Information regarding the Proposed Changes to Part B State Plan can be located on the DESE website. As the comment period closed on January 8, 2018, MSHA did submit a letter in support the proposed changes to the plan. Click here for a copy of this letter.
MSHA will continue to provide updates to its members on the Proposed Speech-Language Eligibility Criterion as they become available.
The Office of Special Education, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has posted proposed changes to the Part B State Plan for 2018. Part of the proposed changes includes the information on the revised speech/language eligibility criterion. Many of our MSHA members are familiar with this information which was presented at the 2017 MSHA Convention.
There will be a public comment period available from November 28, 2017 through January 8, 2018. The link to this information is available at:
Stay tuned for further information from MSHA. We will keep our members informed as to timelines and outcomes.
On October 31, 2017, the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia presented its recommendations to the State Board of Education and this document was sent to representative Todd Richardson, speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and Governor Eric Greitens. The recommendations include a statewide system to address the needs of students with dyslexia and recommendations that specifically address:
- Evidence-based reading instruction
- Preservice and in-service professional development
- Teacher certification
- Recommendations for a process for reporting of data
- The study and evaluation of current practices for diagnosing, treating, and educating students
The Missouri statues, which directed the work of the Task Force, define dyslexia as a disorder that is “neurological in origin, characterized by difficulties with accurate and fluent word recognition, and poor spelling and decoding abilities that typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language, often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction and of which secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.” The statutes also define dyslexia screening, related disorders and support. As specified in the definition, the core issue with dyslexia is a deficit in the phonological component of language, an area of expertise for speech-language pathologists (SLPs). Secondary consequences of dyslexia including vocabulary growth, comprehension and background knowledge are also areas of expertise. You will find that the document includes SLPs among those qualified to assist in implementation of the recommendations.
This recommendation is also posted on the website for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. As you read the recommendations, note that the italicized portions are from the statutes RSMo. 167.950 and 663.420: http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/16700009501.html
The statements that follow the italicized portions are the Task Force recommendations.
I was honored to serve in this important role as the representative for MSHA and appreciated the opportunity to work cooperatively with the twenty one member Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia to recommend effective ways to address the issue of dyslexia in our schools.
Eva Trumbower, MS, CCC-SLP
The third meeting of Task Force on Dyslexia was held on February 10, 2017, in Jefferson City for the purpose of hearing public testimony focused on classroom instruction, intervention, and implementation of evidence-based reading and instructional programs with general discussion of testimony following. A meeting will be scheduled for March and/or April 2017 in Jefferson City for additional testimony relative to preservice and inservice professional development for dyslexia.
The Missouri House of Representatives has issued a House Committee Hearing Notice for the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia. The Hearing will occur on Friday, February 10, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room 7 at the Capital Building (lower level) in Jefferson City. The Hearing is held for the purpose of testimony relating to effective dyslexia intervention programs that address dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia. Witnesses will be limited to licensed or certified professionals working in the area of dyslexia. If time allows, additional testimony will be permitted.
In June 2016, Governor Jay Nixon signed two pieces of legislation relating to dyslexia: House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638. The statutes address screening, professional development, classroom supports and evidence-based reading instruction for dyslexia in all public and charter schools in Missouri. Implementation is to begin in 2018-2019 and continue in subsequent school years. In accordance with the statutes, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education created the role of Director-Dyslexia Specialist and Kim Stuckey has been employed in the position. In addition, the legislation created a Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia (Task Force).
The Task Force is comprised of twenty-one members described in RSMo 633.420.1. The description of Task Force members includes a speech-language pathologist with training and experience in early literacy development and effective research-based intervention techniques for dyslexia recommended by the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA). MSHA recommended Eva Trumbower, M.S., CCC-SLP to the legislature and she has been appointed to serve on the Task Force.
Learn more about the Dyslexia Task Force and recent activities.
State Education Advocacy Leaders (SEALs) are appointed by ASHA-recognized
Speech-Language-Hearing Associations to act as advocates on issues
related to education. The State Education Advocacy Leaders were
established in 1999 under ASHA's Priorities. The mission of the
SEALs network is to “enhance and perpetuate the advocacy,
leadership, and clinical management skills of school-based ASHA
members at the state and local levels to influence administrative
and public policy decisions that affect the delivery of speech-language
pathology and audiology services in school settings.” (www.asha.org).
Missouri’s SEAL is Elizabeth McKerlie, MS, CCC-SLP, email@example.com
Important: The Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association is NOT a licensing agent. MSHA supports ASHA, the State Board of Healing Arts, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the agencies which license or credential professionals.
Senate Bill (SB) 107 passed in the 2015 Missouri legislative session and became law on August 28, 2015. As of August 28, 2015, the Board of Healing Arts (BHA) no longer require applicants for licensure to complete a 9 month clinical fellowship period to apply for full licensure. Individuals with a Master’s degree in SLP who have passed the Praxis exam will get a full license from the Board of Healing Arts. With this full “unencumbered” license, they will be able to get initial SLP Student Services Certification from DESE. With a full license these individuals will be able to bill Medicaid.
Effective January 1, 2016, all individuals applying for a DESE SLP Student Services Certificate for the first time must hold a Board Of Healing Arts (BHA) license and they must keep that license current. This does not impact individuals who already hold a DESE SLP credential without a BHA license – they may continue to practice in Missouri public schools with just their DESE certificate.
SB 107 made important changes to SLP-A registration. The new law clarifies that the practical hour requirement for SLP-A registration may be done separate from the bachelor’s degree coursework.
Important Websites for SLP-A’s:
Federal law requires each state to establish criteria for qualifying children ages 0-21 as eligible to receive Special Education and Related services. DESE’s criteria for each category of disability are summarized in the State Plan for Special Education.
Please refer to the Missouri State Plan for Special Education Revised February 2016
The question of how to handle missed therapy sessions in the public
schools comes up frequently. On 11/2/06, ASHA requested clarification
from the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as
to interpretation based on the IDEA Amendments of 2004. On 3/8/07,
OSEP responded by addressing ASHA’s question about the need
to use substitutes and to schedule make up sessions when speech/language
sessions are missed as a result of either the child’s absences,
the SLP’s absences, or other causes such as school activities.
OSEP stated that these issues are not addressed in the federal law
or the federal regulations. According to OSEP, it is up to each
state to ensure a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Therefore,
each school entity needs to consider the effect of absences (child’s
or SLP’s) or other causes of missed sessions on the child’s
progress toward IEP goals. If the goals are not likely to be met,
missed sessions may be a denial of FAPE.
In an attempt to receive written clarification from DESE as to the
state policy and ask them to consider the OSEP opinion, the MSHA
Executive Board developed a Position Statement about missed sessions
and presented a draft to Heidi Atkins Lieberman, assistant commissioner
of education, on May 19, 2008.
here for a copy of the Position Statement.
DESE responded quickly and on 5/23/08, the following message was
sent to school administrators via the DESE SELS List: ”The
U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs
(OSEP) issued a policy letter in March 2007 (Letter to Clarke).
That letter included several issues; one of those issues was compensatory
services. In the letter, OSEP changed its mid-1990's position on
compensatory services by noting that IDEA really does not provide
for compensatory services, that the issue boils down to a free appropriate
public education (FAPE) and that whether a child is in need of compensatory
services is an individualized issue. It "encouraged" schools
to convene IEP teams to address compensatory services when there
has been a failure to implement due to things like provider absences.
After careful consideration and discussion, we have reached the
conclusion that our long-standing position that provider absences
requires either full make-up services OR an IEP team meeting and
decision on the extent, if any, of compensatory services needed,
is without authority. However, we strongly recommend that responsible
public agencies consider continuing to address provider absences
by either full make-up of services OR convening the IEP team to
address the need for compensatory services. This is one way to ensure
FAPE has been addressed. We also encourage you to discuss this with
your school district lawyer.”
here for DESE’s FAQ Re: First Steps
Check back soon for updates.
State Board for the Healing Arts
of Elementary and Secondary Education
as Teachers National Office
for Administrators of Special Education
Following is information to assist SLPs determine eligibility for
diagnosis of children with Sound System Disorders (SSD) in Missouri
When determining initial eligibility for children with phonological
processing errors, districts may choose to use either the Masterson/Basye
system or the Shriberg chart or may use other normative data. It is
strongly recommended by MSHA that the evaluation report state which
data was used.
- DESE System for SSD with Single Error Sound
The first item is the chart accepted by the Missouri Department
of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in September, 2007
for initial diagnosis of a single sound disorder. Click here for
For further information about initial determination of eligibility
for Sound System Disorder, go to http://dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/documents/se-cc-statenormativedata.pdf for a Q&A on the DESE website.
- System for Guiding Professional Judgment for SSD with
Multiple Sound Errors
A procedure for using professional judgment in determining eligibility
when sound system disorders involve more than a single sound was
developed by Dr. Julie Masterson and Sarah Basye (Missouri State
University) with input from a team of clinicians working in Missouri
Schools, including Susan Borgmeyer, Elaine Kempker, and Brenda
Martien. The system is based on current research on typical phonological
development in children. A "Quick Start" for Recommendations
for Using Professional Judgment can be obtained by clicking
here. For the accompanying research base, click
- DESE-MSHA 2001 Chart for Developmental/Non-Developmental
This chart was developed by a task force including DESE and MSHA
representatives in 2001 that is based on studies by Shriberg,
1993. School districts that were using this chart prior to the
publication of the DESE chart in 2007 may continue to use it when
considering initial eligibility for SSD on the condition that
there is more than a single sound error present.
Remember that when determining initial eligibility for a child with
a single sound error, the DESE chart must be used in Missouri public