8. The Future of School Speech-Language Pathology

The university speech and hearing clinic must recast the philosophy of training to include those skills required to  help school impaired children succeed in the classroom. Parents need relevant counseling.  Supervision should ensure school IEPs are a part of assessment and intervention so that students can practice educational decision-making.  They should be on file on campus.  Should an articulation problem be treated when the client has no academic problems?  If so, why treatment, and what are long-term goals. How does special education placement increase risks for academic failure?  What stigmas arise?  How does a preschool language problem predict reading and learning disability?

Do experiences in university clinics involve true collaboration?

University clinics have always assumed the medical model and given students isolated clinical experiences. That is a poor idea. Evidence based practice cannot ignore cognitive-linguistic outcomes.  Reading-based articulation intervention can enhance generalization of learning as well as progress in the general curriculum.  Classroom consultations can increase language stimulation throughout the week as opposed to two short pull-out meetings a week. It takes a great deal of practical skill to translate SLP practices into home and teacher-pupil approaches.

University clinics reinforce reliance on pull-out direct intervention methods when in 1975 Least Restrictive Environment made sole use of pull-out against the law. Clinical supervisors should help students grade-out treatment experiences.  Some public school SLPs cling almost exclusively to pull-out because they do not know better.

Reading  intervention experiences should be integrated with articulation practice to build upon language  and cognitive learning principles taught in university classrooms.

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