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The 3:1 Model



By now, you’ve probably heard of the 3:1 service delivery model or you may know someone who currently implements it. The 3:1 model for school SLPs calls for three weeks of direct services followed by one week of indirect services.  I’ve always wanted to try this model but had a hard time believing I could “sell it” to administrators even though I feel that my therapy and caseload management would be so much better! ASHA has a lot of great information on this model and the efficacy of it, of which I completely agree with! It’s hard to argue with evidence-based research. At my current placement, I am implementing a modified 3:1 model and it is working fabulously.  If you’re interested in trying it out, let me tell you how I do it!

My modified version of the 3:1 model consist of direct therapy Monday-Thursday and indirect services on Fridays. I cannot express how big of a blessing it is to have an entire day of the week to complete paperwork, conduct comprehensive evaluations, have make-up sessions (yes, make-up sessions), write reports, provide consultative services to general education students, meet with my special education team, schedule IEP meetings, and so much more. In fact, Friday’s are probably my busiest day. I do not stop working for a moment because I know I only have one day to complete my to-do list or else it has to wait until next week. This model also allows me to focus on therapy Monday-Thursday. I am not trying to test kids in between groups or completing classroom evaluations at a moments notice because I know I have FRIDAY. 

There are a few exceptions for this modified 3:1 model. I continue to see students with severe apraxia or phonological disorders that require a more consistent treatment. I also continue to see my RTI kiddos because of the consistency factor as well.


Have you tried a version of the 3:1 model that ASHA recommends for school-based SLPs? Let me know what you loved or didn’t love! If you're interested in reading more about this model, check out this link.
Lacee Johnson
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