On June 17, 2013, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against XXXXX. This is the department’s decision on the complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2012-13 school year, properly determined the amount of speech and language services the student would receive, including the amount of individualized instruction.
The student’s IEP, developed April 12, 2012, specified six speech and language therapy sessions over three weeks each month, for a total of 180 minutes. On September 25, 2012, the amount of speech and language therapy was increased to four weeks per month and a total of 300 minutes. The IEP team met on February 25, 2013, to discuss the parents’ request that the student receive two 25-30 minute speech and language therapy sessions five days per week. The IEP team included the student’s private speech and language therapy providers and the student’s psychologist. Following the IEP team meeting the district responded to the parents’ request indicating the student would continue to receive three 25 minute speech and language therapy sessions per week. The IEP team met again on April 8, 2013, to conduct the required annual IEP review and determined the student would continue to receive three 25 minute sessions per week.
The amount of speech and language services a student receives must be determined by the student’s IEP team and be based on the student’s individual needs. During the 2012-13 school year the student was served by two speech and language therapists. The parents are concerned, based on a conversation with the student’s first speech and language therapist in September of 2012, the level of services provided to the student were based on district resources and personnel considerations rather than the student’s needs. In an interview, the first speech and language therapist recalled discussing district budget constraints with the parents in September, but asserted these factors did not affect her recommendation regarding the amount of speech and language therapy appropriate for the student’s needs. In an interview, the second speech and language therapist, who began working with the student in December 2012, stated she was in agreement with the level of service provided by the district as the amount of one to one therapy was sufficient to help the student make progress towards annual goals, the skills developed in one on one sessions would be further developed in the student’s regular classroom environment, and was consistent with least restrictive environment considerations. The district properly determined the amount of speech and language services the student would receive, including the amount of individualized instruction.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
//signed CST 8/6/2013
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support