Keeping Data?

October 24, 2011 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.

Now that you know the kids on your caseload and your schedule is running (almost?) smoothly, the big question is…Are students making progress? Is your therapy working?

Data (all kinds – percentages, ratios, descriptions, tallies, feedback from parents and teachers!) should be an important part of the communication between you and your supervising SLP. In fact, sharing data and planning for data collection are perfect agenda items for a weekly meeting! Here are some ideas to consider in a conversation with your supervising SLP:

  • Review the IEPs
  • Do you know which goal you’re working on?
  • Is it clear how it is being measured, and how you will know when the student meets it? You may not need to track data for the whole session. Find out what’s most useful to your supervising SLP.
  • What data are you tracking? It may not be realistic to take data on every goal for every child in every session? Here are some ideas for large groups, or students with many goals:
    • rotate your data collection, focusing on a different child each session
    • rotate through goals you’re collecting data on – you may have an activity that targets multiple goals, but only collect data on one.
    • use chips, cards, or other objects to signify correct or incorrect responses so at the end of session you can just count them up!
    • have older students record their own data, then total it or even graph it!

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.