A long-standing problem in the public schools has been that speech-language services to high school students are not as fully implemented as warranted, considering the needs of adolescents with language learning disabilities. Effective high school programming by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) would enable them to make a significant contribution to the academic success of adolescents. To do so, SLPs should reflect on the problems in providing services in high schools, understand the context for providing services, and consider best practice parameters. It is suggested that SLPs (a) accept new or expanded roles with curriculum in general and literacy specifically; (b) provide curriculum-relevant therapy to students and assistance to teachers; and (c) design and implement delivery models based on the nature and setting demands of high school, the teaching realities, and the challenges faced by high school students.
Research Associate, University of Kansas-Center for Research on Learning, Lawrence, Kansas