SEALs have monthly conference calls and also have face to face meetings at the fall and summer ASHA conventions. There has been extensive discussion about huge caseloads, and what possible role ASHA could take in alleviating this problem. Some SEALs report that their school SLPs have over 100 students. Most states have no guidelines regarding maximum caseloads in schools.SEALs also discussed an upcoming ASHA webinar “Apps and Web-Based Materials for Telepractice” scheduled for March 23, 2017 at 3pm ET. Several SEALs described providing some of their service delivery via telepractice and recommend this webinar.
In addition, SEALs have had a lot of questions from SLPs in their state regarding how ABA fits into the world of the school SLP. According to ASHA we all use some ABA principles to teach first words and how to behave and understand language. We also use it to eliminate challenging behaviors by figuring out possible antecedents. However there is ongoing controversy in many states regarding the scope and practice of BCBAs, and there are significant differences in how and when SLPs and BCBAs use ABA, how stingently they define expected behaviors and how strongly they believe the ABA lens is the only one through which we can view the world. SEALs from many states have described instances of BCBAs questioning communication goals developed by SLPs and telling parents their child will be less likely to become verbal if they use augmentative communication, and that they teach “verbal behavior” while an SLP teaches speech and language. Other SLPs report BCBAs being extremely helpful in developing communication skills of children on the Autism spectrum.
The next SEAL face to face meeting will be at the summer ASHA schools convention scheduled for July in New Orleans.