Christina Samuels - On Special Education Blog @OnSpecEd
Black children, Hispanic children, and children who come from non-English speaking households are less likely to receive speech and language services in kindergarten than white children who are otherwise similar to them, says a new study published in the journal Exceptional Children.
About 18 percent of school-aged children with disabilities are identified as having a speech or language impairment, making it the second-largest disability category recognized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. (Children with "specific learning disabilities" are the most prevalent, at about 40 percent.)
There are good reasons for trying to identify and treat the disorder early. Some studies have shown that a child with a speech or language impairment has a higher risk of reading and behavioral problems compared to typically developing peers, and later on, a higher risk of unemployment or underemployment.
This study was produced by the same research team that in 2015 said that minority students overall were less likely than similar white peers to be identified for special education. That finding was controversial in special education circles, since other research has held that minorities are overrepresented in some disability categories.
Federal policy has also been built around the idea of rooting out overrepresentation. In the waning days of the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Education released a rulethat will require states to use a standard approach to calculating whether their districts were overenrolling minority students in special education compared to their white peers. Overall, the standard rule is expected to flag more districts for overrepresentation.
But other reporting has shown that minorities are less likely to get special education services. A series published in 2016 by the Houston Chronicle, for example, showed that Texas districts were under state pressure to keep their special education population low—teachers reported being told to assume that academic problems among English learners were due to language problems, not disabilities.
Speech and Language Service Disparities Increased for Hispanic Children
Paul L. Morgan, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, and George Farkas, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, have said that their findings are more accurate than other research because they were able to control for other factors that are related to educational outcomes.
In this new study, Morgan and Farkasused two datasets based on information gathered about children from the kindergarten class of 1998-99 and the kindergarten class of 2011-12.
In 1998-99, Hispanic children had no statistical difference from white children when it came to receiving services. In 2011-12, however, they were 46 percent less likely than white children to receive speech and language therapy in kindergarten.
Black children were 61 percent less likely than otherwise similar white children to be receiving speech and language services in 1998-99. In 2011-12, black children were 46 percent less likely to be receiving services, a statistically insignificant change.
Source - talkingkids.org
I’m a huge fan of using simple activities for working on speech and language. Simple, because I’m a working mom with lots on her plate who just doesn’t have time for planning for and buying materials for more complex crafts and activities - either at home or at work. And activities, because speech and language are best promoted inside activities that are meaningful and motivating to children!
I recently came across an interesting simple activity on Pinterest: Hidden Colors. Thanks to Busy Toddler for this idea! Hidden Colors is super simple because it contains exactly three ingredients: baking soda, vinegar and food coloring. Easy peasy! I've since used this activity to entertain my own daughter and to work on building speech and language during my speech-language sessions with preschoolers.
Hidden Colors involves a slight twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar volcanoes. Instead of building a volcano and making it explode, baking soda is sprinkled into the cups of a muffin tin. Before sprinkling the baking soda into the cups, though, drops of food coloring are hidden underneath the baking soda. Then, when your kiddo pours vinegar into the cup, it not only fizzes and foams (which is fun in and of itself), but a color is revealed. Super simple, as promised, and super fun!
The key to success with this activity lies in making sure you don’t use very much baking soda in the cup of the muffin tin. The first time my daughter and I tried this, I dumped way too much baking soda in the cup and it really didn’t do much except for fizz - no color at all. The second time around, I put 3-4 drops of food coloring in each muffin tin and poured in just enough baking soda to cover the food coloring. Lots of color this time around!
So how would you use this activity for promoting speech and language? In lots of ways! - READ MORE -