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Arkansas SLP Scope of Practice

How is the practice of speech language pathology defined in Arkansas?

“Speech-language pathology” means the application of principles, methods, and procedures for the measurement, testing, evaluation, prediction, counseling, instruction, habilitation, or rehabilitation related to the development and disorders of speech, voice, or language, and dysphagia for the purpose of evaluating, preventing, ameliorating, or modifying such disorders and conditions in individuals and groups of individuals.

What is included in the practice of speech-language pathology?

The practice of speech-language pathology in Arkansas includes:

Providing prevention, screening, consultation, assessment and diagnosis, treatment, intervention, management, counseling, and follow-up services for disorders of:

    • Speech (i.e., articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice including aeromechanical components of respiration);
    • Language (i.e., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatic/social aspects of communication) including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities; language processing, preliteracy and language-based literacy skills, including phonological awareness;
    • Swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding and aeromechanical events (evaluation of esophageal function is for the purpose of referral to medical professionals);
    • Cognitive aspects of communication (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions);
    • Sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.

Establishing augmentative and alternative communication techniques and strategies including developing, selecting, and prescribing of such systems and devices (e.g., speech generating devices).

Providing services to individuals with hearing loss and their families/caregivers (e.g., auditory training, speechreading, speech and language intervention secondary to hearing loss, visual inspection and listening checks of amplification devices for the purpose of troubleshooting, including verification of appropriate battery voltage).

Screening hearing of individuals who can participate in conventional pure-tone air conduction methods, as well as screening for middle ear pathology through screening tympanometry for the purpose of referral of individuals for further evaluation and management.

Using instrumentation (e.g., videofluoroscopy, EMG, nasendoscopy, stroboscopy, computer technology) to observe, collect data, and measure parameters of communication and swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions in accordance with the principles of evidence-based practice.

Selecting, fitting, and establishing effective use of prosthetic/adaptive devices for communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions (e.g., tracheoesophageal prostheses, speaking valves, electrolarynges). This does not include sensory devices used by individuals with hearing loss or other auditory perceptual deficits.

Collaborating in the assessment of central auditory processing disorders and providing intervention where there is evidence of speech, language, and/or other cognitive communication disorders.

Educating and counseling individuals, families, co-workers, educators, and other persons in the community regarding acceptance, adaptation, and decision making about communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive concerns.

Advocating for individuals through community awareness, education, and training programs to promote and facilitate access to full participation in communication, including the elimination of societal barriers.

Collaborating with and providing referrals and information to audiologists, educators, and health professionals as individual needs dictate.

Addressing behaviors (e.g., perseverative or disruptive actions) and environments (e.g., seating, positions for swallowing safety or attention, communication opportunities) that affect communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions.

Providing services to modify or enhance communication performance (e.g., accent modification, transgendered voice, care and improvement of the professional voice, personal/professional communication effectiveness).

Recognizing the need to provide and appropriately accommodate diagnostic and treatment services to individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and adjust treatment and assessment services accordingly.

What is specifically excluded from the practice?

N/A

Are there any special trainings or requirements?

N/A

Reference

A.C.A. § 17-100-103

Ark Rules Board of Examiners in Speech-Language Pathology § 11

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