Maximizing the Impact of the 3:1 Service Delivery Model for Students with Communication Disorders

The Goals of the 3:1 Service Delivery Model

Many of the school districts we work with have shifted to a 3:1 service delivery model in which there are three weeks of direct services and one week of indirect services. Research on this model suggests that it makes for happier SLPs and better collaboration between professionals. One of the things we have seen is that the use of the “1” week varies a lot across professionals. As a group, the Bilinguistics SLPs sat down to talk about our primary goals for of our indirect week and how we can get the most bang out of our “1” weeks.

Maximizing the Impact of Social Networks through the 3:1 Service Delivery Model

We looked at research on social networks and found Nicholas Christakis’ TED talk on the hidden influence of social networks. If you’ve got an extra 18 minutes on your hands, take a look at his talk. For those of you who don’t, I’ll sum it up for you. When we think about supporting students it looks something like this:
3:1 Service Delivery Model

We have a team of people providing support for students with communication needs. Here is the golden nugget I got out of Christakis’ talk: He found that networks were far stronger and much more influential when there were connections between all of the people in one’s social network. So we really want our students’ networks to look more like this:

3:1 Service Delivery Model

Great Strategies to Maximize your “1” weeks in a 3:1 Service Delivery Model

How do we do this? Well, here are a few of the ideas the Bilinguistics team shared. We’d love to hear your ideas too.

  • Schedule a weekly Monday morning email to go out to your students’ teachers asking them what their themes and goals of the week are so that you can support your students’ academic goals and speech-language goals at the same time.
  • Get your librarian on board. School librarians rock. They LOVE picking out booksScreen Shot 2016-03-02 at 5.30.42 PM for students. Fill them in on the themes and your students’ goals. Here’s a recent example. My students had a class assignment to write a series of newspaper articles about different people in their class. We went to the library, where there is a little stack of newspapers delivered every morning. We read articles about people. They librarian also helped us find some good biographies so we could look at different ways people write about other people. Then, the student went to the library in the mornings before class started and the librarian helped find appropriate articles and helped the student identify descriptive words (language goal!) in the text.
  • Send regular updates, notes, video clips, audio clips, social stories, and so on, to the fabulous team of people who work with your student. If you are successful using video feedback to help your student produce sounds or language structures, share your success and let other people use your strategies. My son’s SLP sends a note once a month or so to his school-based SLP, special education teachers, and parents to keep us all on the same page.
  • Pick up Scott Prath and Katherine Johnson’s new Curriculum-Based Speech Therapy 3D_2_Volume1 Curriculum-Based Speech Therapy Activities Activities books. These guys have aligned the academic curriculum with speech therapy goals AND have included parent letters about the activities and with additional activities to send home.

Share your favorites with us!

Checkout this online course:

Making Life Better in the Schools : A How-to Course on Service Delivery Models

For more information about 3:1 Service Delivery models, visit ASHA.

Also check out The Speech Room News for some great strategies to use during your “1” week.

Written by: Ellen Kester

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