Eligibility for Special Education under designation of Speech and Language Impairment


The MDE Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) define eligibility for special education services within thirteen (13) categories of disability. You can view the full MARSE document on MDE’s webpage.

R 340.1702 Student with a disability defined.
Rule 2. “Student with a disability” means a person who is determined by an individualized education program team or a hearing officer to have 1 or more of the impairments specified in this part that necessitates special education or related services, or both, who is not more than 25 years of age as of September 1 of the school year of enrollment, who has not completed a normal course of study, and who has not graduated from high school. A student who reaches the age of 26 years after September 1 is a “student with a disability” and entitled to continue a special education program or service until the end of that school year.

R 340.1710 Speech and Language Impairment explained; determination.
Rule 10.
(1) A “speech and language impairment” means a communication disorder that adversely affects educational performance, such as a language impairment, articulation impairment, fluency impairment, or voice impairment.

(2) A communication disorder shall be determined through the manifestation of 1 or more of the following speech and language impairments that adversely affects educational performance:
(a) A language impairment which interferes with the student’s ability to understand and use language effectively and which includes 1 or more of the following:
(i) Phonology.
(ii) Morphology.
(iii) Syntax.
(iv) Semantics.
(v) Pragmatics.

(b) Articulation impairment, including omissions, substitutions, or distortions of sound, persisting beyond the age at which maturation alone might be expected to correct the deviation.
(c) Fluency impairment, including an abnormal rate of speaking, speech interruptions, and repetition of sounds, words, phrases, or sentences, that interferes with effective communication.
(d) Voice impairment, including inappropriate pitch, loudness, or voice quality.

(3) Any impairment under subrule (2)(a) of this rule shall be evidenced by both of the following:
(a) A spontaneous language sample demonstrating inadequate language functioning.
(b) Test results on not less than 2 standardized assessment instruments or 2 subtests designed to determine language functioning which indicate inappropriate language functioning for the student’s age.

(4) A student who has a communication disorder, but whose primary disability is other than speech and language may be eligible for speech and language services under R 340.1745(a).

(5) A determination of impairment shall be based upon a full and individual evaluation by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, which shall include a teacher of students with speech and language impairment under R 340.1796 or a speech and language pathologist qualified under R 340.1792.

In 2017, Michigan Department of Education issued Guidance on Eligibility for Michigan Mandatory Special Education, Birth to Three

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