Certification requires extra attention

September 9, 2013 BY Kira Wright, CCC-SLP

This is part of a continuing series of posts on therapy ideas to support assistants (SLPAs) and paraprofessionals in the schools in their work with students and their supervising SLPs.

Are you a certified SLPA? Are your documents in order? Do you have adequate supervision from your supervising SLP? Read more here!

Are your SLPA documents in order? In Oregon, SLPAs are responsible for filing Supervision Change Notices if there has been a change in the SLP providing your mandated supervision. Oregon SLPAs are also required to maintain a Supervision Log documenting direct and indirect supervision from a licensed SLP.

Do you know how to calculate the required minutes of supervision? Oregon certified SLPAs need to be supervised for 20% of the time they provide clinical interaction services. Of that 20%, at least 10% should be direct supervision and up to 10% should be indirect supervision. At a minimum, SLPs need to have the opportunity to see each student on the caseload on a regular basis in order to assess the student’s progress, as well as the assistant’s skill in providing intervention.

Other states, such as Washington, are in the process of designing supervision guidelines for SLPAs. Contact your state association if you are unsure what the requirements for your district are.

An additional consideration in a healthy SLP/SLPA schedule is explicit time to meet, review, discuss, and plan. You will likely have a method for regular communication, whether it be phone, email, a shared notepad, whatever, but you will also need a standing meeting with a regular agenda. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, or even 10 minutes daily, depending on the caseload, and comfort levels of you and your assistant(s). If your supervising SLP has not addressed this issue, bring it up as a way to streamline communication and planning!

SLPAs and paraprofessionals should always operate within the scope defined by state and national licensing organizations and should only conduct allowable tasks under the supervision of a speech-language pathologist.