Using Response to Intervention for Speech Sound Disorders: Exploring Practice Characteristics and Geographical Differences Purpose Speech sound disorders (SSDs) comprise a large percentage of school-based speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) caseloads, particularly for those practicing in elementary schools. Many service delivery models have been proposed to manage rising caseload sizes. One particular approach, response to intervention (RTI), was introduced as an optional model of ... Article
Article  |   September 05, 2018
Using Response to Intervention for Speech Sound Disorders: Exploring Practice Characteristics and Geographical Differences
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Divya Swaminathan
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Emerson College, Boston, MA
  • Kelly Farquharson
    Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, Emerson College, Boston, MA
    Dr. Farquharson is now in the School of Communication Science and Disorders at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Divya Swaminathan has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Kelly Farquharson has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Divya Swaminathan has no relevant financial interests to disclose. Kelly Farquharson has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Divya Swaminathan has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Kelly Farquharson has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Divya Swaminathan has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose. Kelly Farquharson has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Part 2
Article   |   September 05, 2018
Using Response to Intervention for Speech Sound Disorders: Exploring Practice Characteristics and Geographical Differences
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2018, Vol. 3, 53-66. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG16.53
History: Received March 28, 2018 , Revised May 22, 2018 , Accepted May 31, 2018
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2018, Vol. 3, 53-66. doi:10.1044/persp3.SIG16.53
History: Received March 28, 2018; Revised May 22, 2018; Accepted May 31, 2018

Purpose Speech sound disorders (SSDs) comprise a large percentage of school-based speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) caseloads, particularly for those practicing in elementary schools. Many service delivery models have been proposed to manage rising caseload sizes. One particular approach, response to intervention (RTI), was introduced as an optional model of intervention in the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act. This model ensures that children who may not yet require special education services still receive individualized support. Given the risk for literacy, cognitive, and social impairments in children with SSDs, it is imperative to explore how RTI is implemented for this population of children.

Method In this study, we asked 575 school-based SLPs if they implement RTI for children with SSDs. Furthermore, we explored which practice characteristics and geographical factors may be associated with the use of RTI for children with SSDs.

Results SLPs with smaller caseloads are more likely to implement RTI for children with SSDs.

Conclusions RTI is an optional approach that should be considered for children with SSDs to ensure appropriate and timely service provision. However, the characteristics of an SLP's work setting, such as caseload size, may impede the use of this approach. As such, administrators should work to improve the workload for SLPs, and state legislators should work to support RTI as an option for SLP services.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
All Perspectives articles & archives
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.