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Can an SLPA Administer an Assessment Battery?

Jennifer Ostergren, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

July 7, 2014

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Question

If an SLPA can assist the SLP in the evaluation process, what might that look like?  Can the SLPA administer an assessment if the SLP thinks the SLPA is competent?

Answer

No, assessments cannot be given by SLPAs.  “Assist” means preparing the materials or presenting the stimuli while the SLP is documenting performance.  SLPAs are not allowed to do anything interpretive.  Screenings are fine because they do not require high-level interpretation. But even if the SLP deems SLPA competent, they are not eligible for providing assessment services.  The assistance comes in the way of either data collection during the session or presenting a stimulus during the session under the supervision of the SLP. But all of the interpretive information has to be completed by the SLP.  

Dr. Jennifer Ostergren is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Her areas of specialization include neurologic language and cognitive disorders, and professional practice issues. She has published and presented in the areas of supervision and the training and use of speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs), including a recently published book on the topic of SLPAs, titled “Speech-Language Pathology Assistants: A resource manual.” 


jennifer ostergren

Jennifer Ostergren, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Jennifer Ostergren is an Assistant Professor and Graduate Advisor in the Department of Communicative Disorders at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Her areas of specialization include neurologic language and cognitive disorders, and professional practice issues. She has published and presented in the areas of supervision and the training and use of speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs), including a recently published book on the topic of SLPAs, titled “Speech-Language Pathology Assistants: A resource manual.”  She currently serves on the Coordinating Committee for the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Group 11 (Supervision and Administration) and is a Site Visitor for the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Dr. Ostergren is the recipient of the 2012 NSSHLA Editor’s Choice Award for two articles published on the topic of SLPAs and a Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership award for curriculum development in the area of ethics and SLPAs.  For the past several years, she has taught courses for Bachelor’s level students interested in obtaining registration as an SLPA in the state of California.


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