Deny Bilingual Education-Deny Bilingual Speech Therapy?

Hi guys,
I’m hoping one of you has a quick answer for me.  I’ve left some messages for some other people, too.
If a Kindergarten student’s mom denies bilingual Kindergarten, does she also deny bilingual speech therapy?
He is Speech Impaired only and has a few articulation goals and one sytax goal, and the ARD says “services will be in Spanish and English”.  But mom doesn’t want him to go to a bilingual school.   I remember a case last year at an ARD, where the district personnel specifically told me that if a parent denies bilingual services, then they are denying bilingual speech therapy along with it.  


We actually just had a discussion on this at our last Bilinguistics staff meeting.  According to IDEA, the goals dictate the services.  If the goals can only be met by working with the child in Spanish, then obviously the therapy would have to be in Spanish.  If the child is bilingual, and the articulation errors can be addressed in both languages, or through either language, then services could be provided in both, or either language.  Basically, you would need the speech therapist to determine whether the child’s impairment can be remediated by working in English only.  So for example, by working on producing both sounds in a cluster in English, we would expect the child to then be able to produce clusters in Spanish because the underlying skill of producing two consecutive sounds is being addressed/remediated. 
As far as the district’s view on language of instruction corresponding to language of services, this seems to be more of a political issue.  Some districts seem to take this position, but whether or not this is mandated is unclear.  What we do know is that IDEA states that a child must be evaluated in his/her native language, but that services need not be provided in the native language.  No law tells us that we have to provide any Spanish-speaker therapy in Spanish.  We are responding to the needs of our clients and our code of ethics by doing so when we can.
Hope that helps!  I would also suggest asking the mother in which language she would like therapy to be provided.
Please let us know what you find out!
Marie Wirka

Written by: mwirka

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