Now that the diagnosis of SSD has been utilized for several months and program staff have given feedback there will be a few changes to the process to expedite the child being made eligible and allow the program to ensure an audiological is completed as part of the assessment.
Children with a speech sound disorder can now be determined to be eligible for services prior to having an audiological evaluation completed. However, since the audiological assessment is integral to determining appropriate IFSP services, an Interim IFSP must be completed that identifies the needs for an audiological to complete the assessment process prior to the initial IFSP being written. The Interim IFSP may identify additional services such as transportation to the audiological and other services identified as needed by the team. Speech services should not be included until the audiological is completed. An Interim IFSP is completed when there are services that need to begin prior to the completion of the assessment. The Physician still needs to sign off on the plan and the Initial IFSP must still be completed within 45 days from the initial referral date. This change in the procedure is in keeping with ASHA best practices to ensure hearing is not contributing to this diagnosis prior to the start of intervention by a speech therapist. Also since audiological evaluation is one of the required Part C services the program can support the parent to have their child’s hearing evaluated in a timely manner.
Please refer to Service Guideline #3 Children Referred for Speech Delays – Page 13 for the following change which reads – NOTE: An audiological evaluation must be completed BEFORE direct speech services begin. An Interim IFSP must be completed with audiological, transportation, and any other services the team feels is appropriate (but not speech). The Initial IFSP still has to be completed 45 days from the referral date. For questions on completing an Interim IFSP please see the IFSP handbook