School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists: Perspective of Literacy and Collaboration with Classroom Teachers
Shelton, Mary Dee Ann
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The current study sought to examine school-based speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs) perception of literacy and collaboration with classroom teachers. Fourteen school-based SLPs participated in an online focus group for this study, with nine also completing an online survey. The researcher used a phenomenological inquiry; there were five different open-ended questions about experience, caseload size, service delivery models, feelings regarding literacy, frequency of reading journal articles related to language and literacy, and pre-service training in language and literacy that were posted over five consecutive days to the focus group. The findings revealed that most participants were not actively involved in collaborating with classroom teachers, citing the lack of time and collaboration as the primary reasons. The SLPs felt competent about their knowledge of language and literacy and the importance of addressing it in speech- language therapy; however, some participants had difficulty incorporating literacy strategies into therapy sessions. The main setting in which the school-based SLPs addressed literacy skills was in “pull-out.” Additionally, the majority indicated reading language and/or literacy journals only occasionally and agreed that more pre-service training is needed. The implications of this study indicate that more training and collaboration is needed in language and literacy to meet the academic needs of students. Moreover, new ways of disseminating information about best practices must be found.