Educationally Relevant Speech-Language Services in Schools

presented by Kathleen Whitmire

Accreditation Check:

Speech-language pathologists (SPLs) working in school settings are faced with providing services that meet educational mandates, their professional scope of practice, and the current evidence base. School-based speech-language services that are truly aligned with federal and state educational mandates are a significant departure from a traditional clinical approach to assessment and intervention. This course provides a conceptual framework for integrating these mandates into an effective speech-language program and discusses strategies and tools for successful implementation. It also serves as the springboard for more in-depth exploration of critical issues in the courses offered throughout this track.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Kathleen Whitmire, PhD, CCC-SLP (Retired), BCS-CL (Retired), ASHA Fellow

    Dr. Whitmire is President of SDG Enterprise, an education consulting firm. She previously served as Director of Educational Programs and Director of the RTI Action Network for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, responsible for school reform initiatives with a global reach to millions of students and educators. In addition, she served as Director of School Services in Speech-Language Pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), leading programs for over 50,000 speech-language pathologists working in the schools. Prior to that, she held positions as a clinic supervisor and lecturer at Syracuse University and as Assistant Professor and Chair of the Communication Disorders Department at The College of Saint Rose. She began her career as a school-based clinician in California and New York, where she worked for fourteen years. A nationally-certified speech-language pathologist, Dr. Whitmire is a board-certified specialist in child language and language disorders and is an ASHA Fellow. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed and invited journal articles and chapters, has served as guest editor for three professional journals, and sits on the editorial boards of Topics in Language Disorders and Communication Disorders Quarterly. She is currently serving as Vice President of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Research Group and Chair of the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders. She has presented extensively at the international, national, and state levels on issues related to academic and social implications of disabilities in school-age children and adolescents, with particular interest in learning disabilities, stuttering, and deafness. She has also served in a variety of capacities for regional and state professional associations and boards, for which she has received two Distinguished Service Awards and a Special Citation. Dr. Whitmire received her MA, MS, and PhD from the University of Rochester.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Overview of School-Based Speech-Language Services

    1. Overview of School-Based Speech-Language Services

    SLPs providing services in public schools must align their work with federal mandates, their profession’s scope of practice and the current evidence available. We'll take a look at federal mandates and their implications for speech-language services; later courses will address the Scope of Practice and the evidence base.

  2. Eligibility Determination and Educationally Relevant Evaluations

    2. Eligibility Determination and Educationally Relevant Evaluations

    Eligibility for speech-language services requires a three-step determination process incorporating the key elements we discussed in Chapter 1. We'll review the eligibility determination process and the incorporation of those key elements into an evaluation that is relevant to the school context.

  3. Developing the IEP

    3. Developing the IEP

    Federal mandates specify the elements that must be included in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). This chapter connects the evaluation components from Chapter 2 and the required components of the IEP. We'll focus on specially designed instruction, direct and indirect services, and service delivery models.

  4. Implementing the IEP

    4. Implementing the IEP

    According to ASHA’s 2014 Schools Survey, over 80% of intervention time is spent conducting pull-out therapy. This chapter will introduce ASHA's workload approach and give an overview of effective models of collaboration. We'll introduce ways to better meet individual student needs and move towards a more balanced use of service delivery models.

  5. Making This Happen

    5. Making This Happen

    School-based speech-language services that are truly aligned with federal mandates stand in bold contrast to a traditional clinical approach to assessment and intervention. This final chapter will summarize the key elements covered in Chapters 1-4 and will help clinicians begin to develop a plan for moving towards full implementation of educationally relevant assessment and intervention.