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Language Impairments

​​Rule 6A-6.030121(1), F.A.C., specifies that a language impairment interferes with communication, adversely affects performance and/or functioning in the student’s typical learning environment, and results in the need for ESE. A language impairment is a disorder in one or more of the basic learning processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. These include:
• Phonology: the sound systems of a language and the linguistic conventions of a language that guide the sound selection 
  and sound combinations used to convey meaning;
• Morphology: the system that governs the internal structure of words and the construction of word forms;
• Syntax: the system governing the order and combination of words to form sentences, and the relationships among the
  elements within a sentence;
• Semantics: the system that governs the meanings of words and sentences; and
• Pragmatics: the system that combines language components in functional and socially appropriate communication.
 
A language impairment may manifest in significant difficulties affecting listening comprehension, oral expression, social 
interaction, reading, writing, or spelling. A language impairment is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological  
age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited English proficiency.

Parents of children not yet attending school may contact Child Find if there are concerns with hearing, speech or language development.


Eligibility criteria for the language impaired program for pre-kindergarten

A prekindergarten child is eligible as a child with a language impairment in need of ESE if all of the following criteria are met:
• The impairment may manifest in significant difficulties affecting one or more of the following areas:
         • Listening comprehension
         • Oral expression
         • Social interaction
         • Emergent literacy skills (e.g., vocabulary development, phonological awareness, narrative concepts)
• Observation(s) reveal significant language deficits that interfere with performance and/or functioning in the typical learning 
  environment.
• Test(s) reveal significant language deficits in one or more of the areas listed above.
• Information gathered from stakeholders support the results of the standardized instruments and observations conducted.
• The language impairment must have an adverse effect on the child’s ability to perform and/or function in the typical learning
  environment, thereby demonstrating the need for ESE.
• The language impairment is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or limited
   English proficiency.

Eligibility criteria for the language impaired program for a student in kindergarten through grade twelve.

A K-12 student meets the eligibility criteria as a student with a language impairment in need of ESE if all of the following criteria are met:
• Due to deficits in the student’s language skills, the student does not perform and/or function adequately for the student’s
  chronological age or meet grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning
  experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s chronological age or grade:
       • Oral expression
       • Listening comprehension
       • Social interaction
       • Written expression
       • Phonological processing
       • Reading comprehension
• Due to deficits in the student’s language skills, the student does not make sufficient progress to meet chronological age or 
  grade-level standards in one or more areas listed above when using a process based on the student’s response to
  scientific, research-based intervention.
• Evidence of a language impairment is documented based on a comprehensive language evaluation. There must be 
  documentation of all of the following:
       • Observations show evidence of significant language deficits that interfere with the student’s performance and/or 
         functioning in the educational environment
       • Test results indicate a significant language deficit in one or more of the areas above
       • Information gathered from stakeholders support the results of the test(s) and observations conducted
       • The language impairment is not primarily the result of factors related to chronological age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or
         limited English proficiency.​


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