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Preparedness of Speech-Language Pathologists to Treat Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders

Taylor, Sara and Lanter, Elizabeth and Waldron, Claire and Blanks, Brooke (2013) Preparedness of Speech-Language Pathologists to Treat Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders. Masters thesis, Radford University.

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Abstract

Purpose: The population of school-age students diagnosed with emotional or behavioral disorders has steadily increased in American public schools. This study sought to determine the preparedness of preprofessional speech-language pathology graduate students in identifying, assessing, and treating school-age students with emotional or behavioral disorders. Methods: Three sources of data were used to investigate the preparedness of preprofessional speech-language pathology students: (a) syllabi from accredited graduate programs were obtained and analyzed for common themes in the instruction universities provide to preprofessional students, (b) semistructured interviews were conducted with four preprofessional speech-language pathology graduate students regarding their incidental, academic, and clinical experiences with emotional or behavioral disorders, and (c) data from a case review of a preprofessional first year speech-language pathology graduate student’s experience in treating a student with a diagnosed emotional or behavioral disorder was analyzed retrospectively for themes. Results: Results demonstrate a lack of documented academic instruction specific to emotional or behavioral disorders, although they may be introduced in the context of autism spectrum disorders or behavioral management. The academic instruction provided seems to be supplemented with practicum experiences that expose preprofessional students to emotional or behavioral disorders in clients with comorbid language impairments. Implications: Findings suggest that it is plausible that at least some graduates of accredited speech-language pathology programs might lack sufficient preparedness to assess and treat students with a broad range of emotional or behavior disorders. Although academic instruction may not be well documented, clinical experience may supplement instruction to provide practical experience with emotional or behavioral disorders. Accordingly, it is important that speech-language pathologists seek continuing education in this area. These results elicit a call to action to encourage universities with accredited speech-language pathology programs to address didactic academic instruction on a broad range of emotional or behavioral disorders, encourage research in this area, and promote internship experiences for its students specific to this population of students.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 30 May 2013 18:14
Last Modified: 30 May 2013 18:14
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/104

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