Autism Spectrum Disorders: Experience, Training, and Confidence Levels of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Purpose To investigate the graduate training experiences of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Comparisons were made between recent graduates (post 2006) and pre-2006 graduates to determine if differences existed in their academic and clinical experiences or their confidence in working with children with ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2013
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Experience, Training, and Confidence Levels of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Allison M. Plumb
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Laura W. Plexico
    Auburn University, Auburn, AL
  • Correspondence to Allison M. Plumb: amp0016@auburn.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan
    Associate Editor: Jeannene Ward-Lonergan×
Article Information
Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2013
Autism Spectrum Disorders: Experience, Training, and Confidence Levels of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2013, Vol. 44, 89-104. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0105)
History: Received December 29, 2011 , Revised May 8, 2012 , Accepted October 8, 2012
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2013, Vol. 44, 89-104. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2012/11-0105)
History: Received December 29, 2011; Revised May 8, 2012; Accepted October 8, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose To investigate the graduate training experiences of school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Comparisons were made between recent graduates (post 2006) and pre-2006 graduates to determine if differences existed in their academic and clinical experiences or their confidence in working with children with ASDs.

Method A 46-item, web-based, national survey was used. Participants were recruited through e-mail and listservs for American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Divisions 1 (Language, Learning, and Education) and 16 (School-Based Issues).

Results Recent graduates reported a greater amount of graduate coursework relating to ASDs than pre-2006 graduates. However, the pre-2006 graduates reported significantly greater confidence in the areas of counseling parents of children who exhibit “red flags” of ASDs and addressing social communication, literacy, and academics in intervention.

Conclusion Results of the current survey indicated an increase in the amount of preprofessional training that SLPs receive relating to ASDs. Nonetheless, the majority of SLPs reported that they could have benefitted from additional clinical experience and training working with children with ASDs. The greater degree of confidence reported by the pre-2006 graduates highlights the importance of experience and continuing education for professionals in the field of speech-language pathology.

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