It is sad to me to think that SLPs in the schools do not defend their professions or behave on a different level than teachers.

I find that difficult to understand. Why is that in schools, SLPs are prohibited from recommending further evaluations from specialists outside the school district? More troubling than that, is why SLPs don’t stick up for their profession.

We are an allied health field… we take courses in the medical sciences… we are not teachers. We are not glorified tutors. We have been trained to analyze, observe, make professional judgments, and determine if our patients require further evaluations by any other kind of therapist and/or medical professional.

We, SLPs, are held responsible for HIPPA Compliance and are considered to be part of the medical field.

It is under our scope of practice to recommend further evaluation from psychologists, neurologists, etc…

So, again, I would believe it would be unethical to evade recommendations for further evaluations from specialists outside the school district if we believed through our professional training that a child would benefit from further evaluations from developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychologists, OTs, PTs, or any other sort of specialty regardless if they qualify for services under the school service delivery method.

Here’s the thing… Why aren’t we educating doctors, other therapists, and educational staff about our profession? Why aren’t we standing up for ourselves and explaining that our scope of practice involves communication and how it impacts academics and social interactions. Then again, communication overlaps every aspect of one’s life.

We do not tutor… Once communication is functional, then the learning disability or other disability is not covered under our scope of practice… So basically, we work with LD students to organize their language… so that they can functionally understand and express their desires, wants and needs. We do not teach them or tutor them just because they are low academically… We cannot change a learning disability… which means a child has difficulty learning… so basically the child is going to be behind academically which is why there are resource programs and special ed programs which will help move the child along.

We should not be working on social skills with children who are emotionally disturbed… ED must be targeted to improve social skills. Targeting communication will not improve social skills for a child with ED or anxiety since the communication is not negatively impacting his social skills. If ED or anxiety is negatively impacting his social skills, then the emotional disorder should be targeted to improve social skills.

I can understand teachers not being able to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals… They have not been trained in the medical sciences or taken courses in neuroanatomy…

Why is a professional from an allied health field (SLPs) who works in a school district unable to recommend evaluations from other medical professionals outside of school districts? That’s part of the reason we are trained in neuroanatomy and arteriosclerosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other neurological language delays/disorders.

Speech Pathologists are not teachers unless they have been dually certified in education…

SLPs are governed by the state licensing board and by ASHA… Teachers are governed by the TEA…

Communication is the SLP’s expertise… Education is the Teacher’s expertise… there is a significant difference, especially in how they are trained and the backbone that each profession is given in order to be successful in their career.

SLPs should always think of themselves as allied healthcare professionals regardless of the setting they work in… this would help get the respect we deserve in the school districts…

SLPs would be able to stand out and demonstrate their expertise in their fields if they do not allow others to treat them as teachers or glorified tutors…

SLPs need to put boundaries in place in order for them to be seen as experts in their fields… They need to put up a tough act and fight for their scope of practice and their rights as allied health professionals.

Ironically, in the medical service delivery method… we do not need a referral from medical doctors to evaluate our patients… In fact, we obtain MD referrals for payment purposes…

So SLPs in medical service delivery method settings are maintaining their independence and have set up a boundary… yet, those in the education fields are just sitting back and watching while others treat them as teachers.

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