1. SLP CASELOAD CUTS

In 2002, SLP Kathleen Whitmire was a first leader to advocate for a broad view of school caseload management:

“When developing the intervention plan, the team should take into consideration the full spectrum of service delivery options when deciding which options are appropriate for meeting the individual needs of the child. It may be appropriate to provide a mix of options, e.g., classroom-based, individual pull-out, and consultation, to help the child establish basic speech-language skills, examine attitudes and beliefs, and apply skills in various contexts. In addition, these options should be reviewed and changed over time as needed, as the child’s needs change” (Kathleen Whitmire).

In 2005, Whitmire pointed out that taking into account the “full spectrum” of SLP services on behalf of a child was also an effective means of defining workload. Workload should not be determined by a simple head-count of clients served. Caseload size does not “….reflect all of the many activities that SLPs engage in both with and on behalf of students in order to meet student needs, provide accepted standards of practice, meet federal and state mandates, and complete administrative duties” (Kathleen Whitmire2).

Our prior post (12. SLP Dismissal / Exits) expands the Whitmire viewpoint to say school SLPs can take the broader view of case management to expedite ethical reductions of caseload size and misidentification. “A school speech therapist who does “pull out” treatment 100% of the time is not following the least restrictive environment requirements of IDEA 2004. LRE contexts should be graded so that most children quickly move away from out-of-classroom instruction to consultation, support and dismissal. Combine pull out with consultation. Try collaboration. Use pre-service programs. Tune into the “progress in the general curriculum” criterion as a guide-point.”

Striving to manage for accurate and timely exits from special education is an ethical consideration added to Whitmire recommendations. Service delivery must be linked to IDEA 2004 regulations and to the purpose of minimizing overidentification.

We see here also the fact that related service specialists can manage caseload size, workload and overidentification within one framework.

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