Mission Statement

The Hernando County School District collaborates with parents and other community stakeholders to effectively prepare all students for a successful transition into a diverse and changing world.

Exceptional Student Education

Speech Impaired & Language Impaired Program


Speech and language impairments are defined as disorders of articulation, fluency, voice and language which interfere with communication, preacademic or academic learning, vocational training or social adjustment.

Articulation disorders are substitutions, distortions, or omissions of speech sounds which are of a non-maturational nature.

Fluency disorders, often referred to as stuttering, are conditions when the flow of speech is broken by abnormal stoppages, repetitions or prolongations of sound, syllables, words or phrases.

Voice disorders refer to inappropriate pitch, quality and loudness of the voice.

Language disorders refer to the delay in the development of the vocabulary and grammar necessary for understanding and expressing thoughts and ideas. Reading, writing and speaking are all forms of language and thus can be affected by a language disorder.


Children can be referred for a suspected speech and/or language impairment by parents and teachers. Consideration must be given as to whether the suspected speech and language impairment has a negative impact on overall communication, pre-academic and academic learning, vocational training or social adjustment. In other words, is there an educational basis for the referral?

A child is then screened and, if the child fails the screening, evaluated by the speech-language pathologist and must be eligible according to state criteria in the specific areas of articulation, fluency, voice and language.

Service Delivery Models

Florida Department of Education certified or state licensed speech-language pathologists provide evaluation and therapy to children as well as consultations to parents and teachers. Services are provided at all elementary, middle and high schools. Preschool speech and language impaired children may be provided services at selected program sites or the neighborhood elementary school. The majority of speech and language impaired children are served through direct therapy including individual and group, as well as classroom based therapy and consultation.

Dismissal Criteria

A student may be considered for dismissal when a determination is made through the reevaluation process that the student is achieving successfully in the general curriculum without support, or that the disability no longer interferes with the student’s ability to participate in the educational process.

For further information please contact Cassandra Hall, Coordinator of ESE Instruction at Exceptional Student Education office,  352-797-7022, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 21 2013 17:20

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Exceptional Student Education
Contact Info:
Cathy Dofka, Director of ESE
900 Emerson Road
Brooksville, FL 34601

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