Schools Survey Releases Caseload Data Caseload size, paperwork, and time for planning and collaboration are the top challenges for school-based speech-language pathologists, as they have been for the past decade, according to ASHA’s 2010 schools survey. More than 2,500 SLPs responded to questions about caseload, work activities, models of service, and challenges. Similar surveys ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   September 01, 2010
Schools Survey Releases Caseload Data
Author Notes
  • Gail Brook, is a technical writer/research analyst.
    Gail Brook, is a technical writer/research analyst.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Practice Management / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   September 01, 2010
Schools Survey Releases Caseload Data
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.15112010.24
The ASHA Leader, September 2010, Vol. 15, 24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN2.15112010.24
Caseload size, paperwork, and time for planning and collaboration are the top challenges for school-based speech-language pathologists, as they have been for the past decade, according to ASHA’s 2010 schools survey.
More than 2,500 SLPs responded to questions about caseload, work activities, models of service, and challenges. Similar surveys were conducted in 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2008 (search “ASHA Schools Survey” onASHA’s website). Below are highlights related to caseload[PDF], along with selected comparative findings from previous surveys. Data presented are mostly from 2000 to 2010. Questions differ among surveys, so data on all topics are not available for all survey years.
Caseload vs. Workload
  • In 2008 and 2010, the majority (80%–81%) of clinical service providers used a caseload approach rather than a workload approach to determine the number of students they served. (A caseload approach is based on the number of students served; a workload approach considers all activities required to support students with communication disorders and to be an integral member of the school team.)

Caseload Size
  • From 2004 to 2010, providers had a median monthly caseload size of 50 (up from 48 in 2000).

  • Caseload size varies considerably by school setting. From 2000 to 2010, caseload size was lower in special day or residential schools (23–28) and preschools (40) than in other school settings.

  • Caseload size varies considerably by state. Indiana SLPs had the largest median monthly caseload from 2000 to 2010 (74–80). Those in North Dakota typically had the smallest or among the smallest (32–35).

  • “Increased caseload or workload” was the most frequently selected effect in 2010 (81%), 2008 (79%), 2006 (79%), and 2004 (83%) by SLPs who reported a provider shortage in their geographic area and type of school.

Impairment
  • From 2000 to 2010, providers identified nearly half (42%–49%) of students in their monthly caseload as moderately impaired; nearly a third (28%–31%) as mildly impaired; nearly a quarter (18%–22%) as severely or profoundly impaired; and few (5%) as not impaired or non-IEP (Individualized Education Program), as receiving RTI (Response to Intervention), or as having a 504 plan.

  • From 2004 to 2010, more than half (55%–63%) of students in the typical monthly caseload of SLPs in day or residential schools were identified as severely or profoundly impaired (much higher than in other school settings).

Areas of Intervention
  • From 2000 to 2010, 91% or more of providers served students in the area of articulation/phonological disorders; 80% or more in the area of autism spectrum disorders; and 67% or more in the area of fluency disorders.

  • From 2000 to 2010, students with articulation/phonological disorders, language impairments, and learning disabilities made up a higher average (mean) number in caseloads than students with other disorders.

Work Activities
  • From 2000 to 2010, SLPs spent more time each week (about 24 hours) in direct intervention than in any other type of work activity.

Models of Service
  • In 2010, providers spent an average of 71% of their time each week in pull-out service; 21% in classroom- or curriculum-based services; 8% in collaborative consultation; 6% in RTI services; 4% in team teaching, and less than 1% in telepractice.

Response to Intervention
  • In 2010, about half (52%) of providers indicated that their role in RTI was to provide consultation and/or strategies to classroom teachers.

English-language Learners
  • In 2008, nearly half (45%) of school-based SLPs reported having no English-language learner (ELL) students; in 2010, 40% reported the same. Of those who did, the average (median) number of ELL students in their typical monthly caseload was two in 2008 and three in 2010.

  • In 2010, 50% of SLPs provided services to ELL students in English.

For more survey details, visit the research section of ASHA’s website.
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September 2010
Volume 15, Issue 11