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Resources for School-Based SLPs

Check out these common myths below! Don't forget to browse additional topics on the left toolbar. 

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Common Myths for School-Based SLPs

ISHA would like to dispel many myths associated with SLPs working in the schools. Below are some common misrepresentations: 

 1. There is a shortage of SLPs in the state of Indiana.

  • Indiana currently has 5 accredited graduate schools for speech-language pathology (Ball State, Indiana University, Indiana State University, Purdue University, St. Mary’s College), all of which offer educational externships and fulfill the requirements for school-based SLPs.
  • In 2017, 165 individuals graduated from these 5 programs with a master’s degree in speech-language pathology.
  • Indiana has seen a 23% increase in SLP graduates since 2017.
 2. Emergency Permits (EPs), recently renewed in the state of Indiana, can remedy the “shortage” of SLPs.
  • Use of EPs has declined by approximately 70% over the past 10 years. In 2018, there were only 33 providers working under an EP in the state of Indiana.
  • ISHA does NOT endorse the use of Emergency Permits, as those providers are not regulated by the state despite being allowed to diagnose speech, language, communication, and swallowing disorders with insufficient education or training. They are also not required to have supervision by a licensed SLP.
  • Individuals working under this provisional license are unable to bill for speech/language/swallowing services.
  • Those with a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing are well suited to be employed as speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs). SLPAs are able to bill for services rendered, as they are supervised by a licensed SLP.
3. The state of Indiana does not enforce caseload caps; therefore, many school-based SLPs have excessive caseloads, especially in comparison to other states.
  • While it is true that Indiana currently does not implement caseload caps, ASHA no longer recommends a specific caseload number, as there is no research to support a specific caseload size. In addition, the needs of students receiving speech-language services vary greatly, and a specific caseload number does not take into account this variation. For example, a caseload of 4- students with mild communication disorders could be manageable, but a caseload of 40 students with severe disabilities is not likely to support the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
  • A uniform guidance for eligibility/dismissal criteria to help lower caseloads was published in 2018.
  • ASHA’s stance, along with more information, is listed below in the following links:   https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/professional-issues/Caseload-and-Workload/   https://www.asha.org/slp/schools/implementation-guide/                                       https://www.asha.org/SLP/schools/Strategies-for-Implementing-Workload/
4. School-based SLPs receive a considerably smaller salary in comparison to their medical-based counterparts.
5. Speech-language pathologists choose to work in medical settings or for contract agencies in order to make more money.
  • SLPs working in the medical field typically have a strong interest in medicine and are eager to diagnose treat swallowing disorders.  
  • Many choose to work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and nursing homes because they are passionate about working with the adult and geriatric populations.
  • SLPs who decide to seek employment through contract agencies may do so for travel opportunities, increased supervision/support, or ability to focus on speech-language pathology while working in the schools.
6.   School-based SLPs mainly work with fluency and articulation disorders.
  • SLPs work with augmentative-alternative communication, language disorders, cognition, auditory processing difficulties, literacy difficulties, and children with medical complexity.
  • School-based SLPs enrich a child’s educational experience by addressing speech, language, and/or literacy in the functional context of their daily setting (school).

To support and empower members to provide the highest quality, life changing communication,
swallowing and hearing services to the people of the State of Indiana.

ISHA CENTRAL OFFICE ~ 2346 S. Lynhurst Drive, Suite D101 ~ INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46241
PHONE: 317-916-4146 ~ FAX: 317-481-1825

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