Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education


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Subject: Sound System Disorder/State Designated Normative Data
Source: Margaret Strecker, Director, Compliance Section

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors and Coordinators

Date: September 20, 2007

Our revised Part B state regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), require all responsible public agencies in the state to use "state designated normative data" when determining eligibility for children under the category of Sound System Disorder. Below is a link to the newly designated state normative data http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/State_Normative_Data.pdf.

Missouri has seen a rise in the number of children identified as eligible for speech language services. This increase appears to be connected to the sound system disorder criteria. Missouri's incidence rate is now much higher than most other states. Use of designated state normative data should provide more consistent state-wide decisions on eligibility determinations as well as better ensure that there is not an over-identification of children as "disabled." The designated normative data is in large part that which is used by Iowa and Nebraska - two states that have done extensive research on eligibility criteria and incidence rates in the area of Sound System Disorder.

It is important to remember that professional judgment can still be used when applying the normative data. Additionally, keep in mind that while a student may not exhibit sufficient difficulties with sounds to be eligible under IDEA, they may still benefit from interventions provided outside the special education arena.

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Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Division of Special Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Email:  webreplyspe@dese.mo.gov
Phone: 573-751-5739   Fax:  573-526-4404


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