1. SLP Collaboration

Richmond makes a case for greater SLP collaboration with teachers and provides suggestions. She writes:

“Are you overwhelmed with the number of students on your caseload, yet you constantly receive more referrals? Are your students progressing toward their goals fast enough? Do you notice that your students respond better when interacting with their peers than with you? Are your students transferring their goals to the classroom setting? There is a solution for all of these concerns: Collaboration” (Super Duper).

An article by SLP Susan Faucheux (Speech Pathology) reports on a school-based project of scholarly merit implementing a collaborative language and literacy program. “The project was designed to replace the traditional “pull-out” model of language therapy, with a “collaborative” model involving teachers from regular and special education and a speech-language pathologist.” Collected data indicated the program increased language arts skills while proving to be a means of addressing caseload issues:

“The Language Literacy Lab is a time efficient form of service delivery for SLPs with large caseloads of language-impaired students.”

Collaboration can lead to preventing misidentification in U. S. schools and reduce workloads as long as SLPs are willing to move away from pull out service delivery (cf. 12. SLP Dismissal / Exits).

“As the mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 1997) become fully implemented (ASHA, 1996; ASHA, 1999; Mead, 1999), more school speech-language pathologists (SLPs) will assess students’ abilities to meet curricular demands, design curriculum-based goals and objectives for students, and provide interventions designed to help students meet curricular requirements. This will apply whether the least restrictive environment for therapy is a classroom or a pullout setting” (Goliath).

One caveat is that neither SLPs nor teachers have sufficient background in collaboration at the level of technique and cooperation. Although collaboration has been heralded by various advocates as something approaching “best practice,” where are the data to support increasing application of this strategy? And why don’t SLPs do it?

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