10. SLP Eligibility Management: Plan

One powerful decision in planning your attack on caseload size and to reduce over-identification is simple:  Commit to a reduction of 10% in one school year.

All the other considerations are secondary.  A percentage reduction goal will inspire creativity and eliminate excuses.  The message is:  GET IT DONE!

With a concrete plan of action, good background knowledge, and the ability to communicate your intent to others, small solutions will appear, ones you would not foresee.  

Paying attention to the rules of least restrictive environment one can move some children out of direct service into consultation.  Asking, “Can I get the same results while making my interventions less restrictive?

And when someone asks about an IEP scale-down of direct treatment, it is a good opportunity to remind him or her gently of how LRE works.

Setting a 10% or 5% reduction goal takes the nonsense out of the thought process jerked around by habit.  If you are not doing it, you are not doing it.

Keep in mind guilt can jump up.  Dropping children from your caseload might make you feel you are lazy in the eyes of others, or you are trying to get out of work.  This is where certainty comes in.  You must realize that by not doing anything to take out non-disabled children from your caseload, you have a habit of mal-practice.  Guilt on that side can be constructive.

However, as you move toward your reduction goal, you might be surprised that a few others are lending support to you.  You can become a role model when that is not  your aim.  People can see that eligibility management gives one a sense of empowerment and new-found skill. You begin to see nuances and gain confidence decisions are sound and ethical.


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