Speech or Language Impairments

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines speech/language impairment as “a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.”

Minnesota Rule 3525.1343 outlines the specific categorical requirements and criteria for speech or language impairments eligibility in Minnesota.

  • Fluency disorder means the intrusion or repetition of sounds, syllables, and words; prolongation of sounds; avoidance of words; silent blocks; or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns. These patterns may also be accompanied by facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.
  • Voice disorder means the absence of voice or presence of abnormal quality, pitch, resonance, loudness, or duration.
  • Articulation disorder means the absence of or incorrect production of speech sounds or phonological processes that are developmentally appropriate (e.g. lisp, difficulty articulating certain sounds, such as l or r). 
  • Language disorder means a breakdown in communication as characterized by problems in expressing needs, ideas, or information that may be accompanied by problems in understanding.

Speech language pathology and audiology services are identified as related services under IDEA; for more information, see the Related Services section under MDE resources on this page.