I have had the pleasure of working with Justina Heintz, M.S. CCC-SLP, an SLP with Northside Independent School District (NISD) in San Antonio, Texas. This school district is not only one of the largest in Texas but is one of the top thirty largest school districts in the United States. They approached Speech Buddies with the primary aim of reducing caseloads. And in order to justify such a large-scale adoption of Speech Buddies Tools the district, under the supervision of Ms. Heintz, undertook a pilot study to determine the effect of Speech Buddies Tools on the districts’ caseloads. Ms. Heintz presented her findings at the 2015 annual convention of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Recently, I had a chance to speak at length with her about this study. She shared some updates: about how the first year of Northside’s district-wide Speech Buddies Tools adoption program progressed, about the impact that Speech Buddies Tools are already having on reducing clinician caseloads, and about how Northside SLPs are improving the lives of the children of NISD.
What is Pull-Out Speech Therapy?
The pull-out model of speech therapy refers to taking a child out of his usual classroom for speech therapy. This could mean either a group session or one-on-one work with the speech-language pathologist (SLP). For example, your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) might specify that he will receive two 30-minute speech therapy sessions per week. Using the pull-out model, he will leave his regular classroom to go meet with the speech therapist during these times.
Every child has his own unique needs and individual learning style. Encouraging collaboration amongst parents, teachers, and speech therapists can help a child learn more effectively in an environment that best suits his needs.