TSHA Eligibility Guidelines Where are We Now

Christy Weddington, M.S. CCC-SLP
TSHA Co-Chair for TOT Committee
Templates to Guidelines
 The TOT Committee has changed the name of
Templates to “Guidelines”
 The eligibility templates were originally developed
to be a ‘template’ for districts to use to determine
eligibility for communication disorders
 As manuals developed and evolved for each
template, the term ‘guidelines’ was more appropriate
to describe the purpose of the manuals
Purpose of Guidelines
 To help guide districts to accurately identify children
with communication disorders according to federal
and state regulations as well as best practices
 To provide consistency across the state, between
districts, and within districts
 To help districts that are over-identified in Speech by
 Generic Manual
 Articulation
 CLD Articulation Companion
 Voice
 Fluency
 Language Only
 Language with Learning Disabilities
 Language with Mental Retardation & Autism
Manuals in Progress
 Development of CLD Language Companion
 Split MR & AU into two separate companion manuals to
 Update all manuals to align with Generic Manual format
 All manuals are going through Professional Editing
 Generic, Articulation, and Language with LD are completed
Challenges Faced
 Legal changes with IDEA and State Commissioner’s Rules
 Concerns that people would misuse or misinterpret the
manuals without proper training
 University graduates don’t have the training as they enter
the public school workforce
 Districts are not willing to pay participants to attend face
to face trainings due to budget crisis and current economy
 Volunteer’s time
 Trainings continue to be provided at Region Service
Centers, TSHA Convention, and Individual Districts
across Texas
 However, face to face trainings are rapidly decreasing
and TSHA is looking at alternative ways to provide
 TOT is in process of collaborating with ESC’s to
develop online training webinars and access to
Concerns Reported
 Too many SLPs are using the standard scores (77) and
percentile ranks (7th) as ‘cut off’ scores for determining a
 SLPs need to look at the ‘big picture’ when determining a
disorder that includes other sources of information or
additional assessment in areas of concern according to the
guidelines and federal law!
 Confusion among other professionals between the
Language Only manual looking at 1 ½ standard
deviations as a concern and Language with Learning
Disabilities looking at 1 SD
Manual Reminders
 Manuals were developed to ‘guide’ districts in
determining eligibility. Districts still have the ‘legal
right’ to set their own guidelines.
 TEA has not and will not ‘approve’ these guidelines.
However, the TSHA/TCASE Joint Committee works
closely with TEA to provide information about the
manuals and their positive impact on schools
More to come!
 The TOT Committee is committed to providing
online trainings and electronic copies of the manuals
to SLPs in Texas
 As the laws change and best practices improve, the
manuals will continue to be updated
 New Task Force has been created to help districts
over-identified in speech
 Training in manuals will be provided & data collected
Links & Contacts
 The Generic Manual is available on the TSHA website at
 Click on School Issues & Eligibility Guidelines
 Lead Trainers & Trainers are also listed for each region and
 Jan Lougeay – VP for Research and Development
[email protected]
 Christy Weddington – TOT Committee Co-Chair
[email protected]

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