by Kevin Stuckey, M.Ed., CCC-SLP and Julie A. Daymut, M.A., CCC-SLP
Many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide services at one location. However,
there are times and circumstances in which an SLP may work at several locations.
We refer to these SLPs as itinerant since they
travel from place to place. Itinerant SLPs typically have scheduled days for providing
services at a location (e.g., Monday and Wednesday at the preschool and Tuesday
and Thursday at the high school). Itinerant SLPs may also travel to multiple sites
within a single day. Reasons for itinerant services may include a shortage of SLPs,
budget concerns, or caseload size.
Where Do Itinerant SLP Services Take Place?
Itinerant SLPs travel between sites to meet the speech and language needs of all
children on their caseloads. Oftentimes, these therapists travel from school to
school so that a child may receive services at his/her home school. In the school
there is usually a designated therapy area such as a resource room or meeting room.
Itinerant SLPs can also provide services in a child’s home. Reasons for this may
be that a child is ill and cannot leave the home—or, the child may be home-schooled.
During summer break, a child in extended school year services may receive services
from an itinerant SLP. These services may take place at a neutral location such
as a library or day care.
Which Other Services Include Itinerant Educators?
SLPs are not the only professionals who provide itinerant services. Some examples
of related disciplines with itinerant services are adaptive physical education,
assistive technology, blind and visually impaired, Deaf and hard of hearing, occupational
therapy, physical therapy, and special education. These itinerant educators play
a big part in meeting the needs of all children with disabilities. Itinerant educators
may collaborate and work together when providing services to children, or they may
see the children in one-on-one sessions.