[Overton]Different Models Lead to Different Recommendations

by Valerie Johnston, MS, CCC-SLP

Parents often ask why speech/language therapy for their child is not recommended by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work the public schools, while it is by SLPs who work in private practices. The answer is that speech-language-pathologists who work in the schools and those who work in private practices follow different models to make decisions about whether intervention is necessary.


SLPs who work in school districts must follow an educational model to determine if therapy is necessary. This means that in order for them to recommend speech therapy for a child, the disorder must interfere with the child?s performance in an educational setting.


On the other hand, private practitioners follow a medical model for deciding if treatment is needed. This allows them to take a broader view of the disorder and evaluate how it is impacting all areas of the child?s life, not just performance in an educational setting.


So, it is the difference in the diagnostic criteria used by these two groups of SLPs that sometimes leads to differing opinions about whether a child has a speech or language disorder. Neither view is right or wrong; they are just different ways of determining if intervention is warranted.


If you have questions or need more information you can contact me at:

Overton Speech & Language Center, Inc.
Fort Worth, TX
(817) 294-8408


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Copyright 2001-2011 Overton Speech & Language Center, Inc.
Last revised: July 27, 2011