Principals' opinions on the role of speech -language pathologists serving students with communication disorders involved in violence
The purpose of this study was to survey the opinions of principals on the role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) serving students with communication disorders who have been involved in violence.
Questionnaires were mailed to 678 elementary, middle, and high school principals in one Midwestern state. A total of 423 were received, resulting in an overall response rate of 62.1%. Each questionnaire included seven demographic items, 23 Likert-type statements, and one open-ended question asking principals to indicate their concerns about providing services for students involved in violence. Likert-type questions pertained to the role and training of SLPs in providing assessment and intervention services for students with communication disorders involved in violence.
Descriptive and parametric statistics were computed. A qualitative analysis identifying the emerging themes expressed through the one open-ended question was also conducted.
Findings indicated principals were aware of the important role of SLPs on multidisciplinary teams and in planning prevention programs. They agreed that SLP services positively impact social adjustment, academic performance, and a student's behavior. However, mean responses indicated they were uncertain on items pertaining to SLPs' training in providing adequate services with this population.
Six themes emerged from 84 respondents (19.9%) from the qualitative analysis of 164 comments. Themes included: (a) service delivery/intervention, (b) role of SLP, (c) shortage of SLPs, (d) training/education, (e) frequency of students involved in violence/safety, (f) definition of violence/relation of violence to speech-language, and (g) impact of home environment.
A comparison of opinions of principals to SLPs on the role of clinicians serving students with communication disorders involved in violence indicated statistically significant differences on violence as an increasing a concern of SLPs, SLPs' training, how children are identified for language services, adequacy of services, and shortages of SLPs.
Clinical implications suggest that principals value SLPs' services. Findings support the importance of clinicians continuing to advocate for the services they perform, collaboration, and providing a range of service delivery models during intervention.
0460: Speech therapy