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Eligibility and Dismissal in Schools


Determination of eligibility for special education services is a multistage process that should answer three questions:

  1. Is there a disability?
  2. If so, is there an adverse effect on educational performance resulting from the disability?
  3. If so, are specially designed instruction and/or related services and supports needed to help the student make progress in the general education curriculum?

Key Issues

Dismissal Versus Continued Eligibility
The goal of public school speech-language pathology services is to remediate or improve a student's communication disorder such that it does not interfere with or deter academic achievement and functional performance.

The goals of speech-language services are as follows:

  • to determine if the student's communication disorder is adversely effecting academic achievement and functional performance;
  • to provide intervention for those communication disorders that are adversely effecting academic achievement and functional performance, specifying goals leading to specific criteria for dismissal;
  • to dismiss the student from speech-language pathology services once the criteria for eligibility are no longer met.