Is it appropriate to allow classroom teachers to collect speech data independent of the SLP? Can an SLP rely on someone else’s data for the speech section of the IEP?
This question speaks volumes about our relationship with our teachers. For those SLPs who have been in the schools for a while and have encountered teachers that are very willing to do whatever is asked of them – sometimes to the extreme – this is a good question. If we rely on someone else’s data for the speech section, we are covering ourselves as long as we have written in the IEP who is collecting what kind of data. Remember, we are addressing support for the child’s academic needs. We could do pull-out in our room for however many minutes we want a week, and that child may make progress with us, but is it carrying over into the classroom? We have to show academic needs are being met and the best way to do that is to document what the child is doing in the classroom. We all know that when we go into a classroom, especially if we are not in there a lot, children will act different. We still may not be getting a truly accurate picture of what that child is capable of doing when we visit those rooms. Regardless of getting accurate or inaccurate data from the teacher, you are getting it from the teacher. As long as you are documenting it in your IEP goals as such, you are releasing yourself of liability as far as that child’s progress. Most likely, many of us have children who are going to multiple rooms. If you really feel like you have a teacher that is going to just write anything down and not be accurate, I would have multiple teachers on that child’s educational team fill out data so that you are collecting from several sources.
Dr. Lara Wakefield, CCC-SLP, has 18 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has researched the roles of the Speech-Language Pathologists and teachers in collaborative settings related to language and literacy for 14 years in several grant -funded projects. She has been a special education advocate for families of children with special needs for the past 5 years, focusing on improving the IEP process for parents.