SLPs Then and Now: Keeping the Vision While Infusing Accountability and Function
Incorporating literacy into the caseload of the school-based speech-language pathologist is often met with mixed feelings. This article explores the role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in the literacy arena from the mid 1970s to the present. It becomes apparent that SLPs have long recognized the relationship between the areas of language we are trained to address and an individual’s ability to read and write. Changes have occurred over the last 25 years with an increase in research supporting the reciprocal relationship between language and literacy, a movement toward evidenced-based practice, and greater accountability regarding education and related service goals. While SLPs were exploring the language-literacy relationships several decades ago, current practice patterns demonstrate exemplary examples of collaboration with classroom teachers and SLPs. Two speech-language pathologists from a public school system in Maryland share how they have effectively worked on areas of prevention and intervention in a collaborative manner. Examples are also provided of “other roles” we often provide to general educators and families.