1. SLP Eligibility Management: Introduction

A professor was fond of telling his doctoral students who had finished their dissertation surveys of the literature,   “Okay, you’ve built a platform, now let’s build a rocket!”

Strategic Eligibility Management

For some time we have been examining the background to current views of how school speech-language pathologists attack the problems of managing large caseloads, and how they might improve the procedures they follow for better results. We refer to Strategic Eligibility Management, or SEM for short, to discuss a method quite different from the conventional approaches framed between 1980-2000. SEM takes into account public policy issues in education to lay out solutions.

Arduously, a sketch of the history of school practice was created almost out of thin air. The field is disinclined to look back, so that in the public domain there is a paucity of material.  The lone exception is the fruitful work of Professor Duchan on which everyone leans for historical perspective.  The trends identified suggested public policy changes in the 1970s had massive effects on school practice, and those effects were greater in magnitude because SLP educators were not planning on such changes. SLPs were naive and faced complicated issues. The delayed response was limited to a list of techniques to describe and measure the problem from a programmatic standpoint. At the heart of the effort was the aim to protect SLP employment and job satisfaction. This strategy appears to have diverted attention away from substantive issues accompanying IDEA legislation, principally, the creation of what we call educational speech pathology. From this, the question followed whether the traditional university curriculum adequately supported the new role through preserve instruction.

SEM, though building on a different set of principles, does not throw the baby out with the bath-water. Guerilla tactics to fight large caseloads continue to be helpful, as do recommendations of authors, continuing education speakers and professional organizations.  SEM is more of a quality solution aimed at facilitating insight and intelligence in addressing caseload demands. It is not as much technique- driven though every method requires techniques. SEM has elements of Total Quality Management, where systems and feedback are our teachers.

SEM is also, we argue, more ethical than current approaches dwelling on numbers rather than children. It requires recalling one’s desire to help children who suffer and to help their families. One must set out to do the right thing.

Academics might very well pick up on the research possibilities at hand. The dualism of clinical and educational criteria at all levels of effort are there to be studied experimentally, as, for example, the manner in which generalization of linguistic learning takes place within and between learning domains.

Market in the 18th

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