The State Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology’s Frequently Asked Questions are currently under review, and some have been removed pending review. We appreciate your patience in the interim.
DISCLAIMER NOTICE: The Frequently Asked Questions are intended to reduce call volume and to provide a quick reference and starting point for answering common questions from applicants and licensees, as well as the general public and clients of licensees. However, they do not constitute legal advice and are not a substitute for, nor do they override or supersede, current and applicable statutes and rules governing licensure and practice in the fields of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Texas. These laws include Texas Occupations Code Chapter 401, governing Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists and others regulated under that Statute, which can be found at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/OC/htm/OC.401.htm, and rules adopted under that statute, which can be found in their official and most current form at http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=3&ti=22&pt=32 (22 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 741), and are available on the Board’s website in word format. Persons regulated under these provisions are responsible for full compliance with all applicable provisions in their current form and may not rely on any Frequently Asked Question or response from Board members or staff to excuse noncompliance. Always review all applicable provisions in their current form for current and complete information about applicable requirements.
Chapter 741, subsections 741.162 and 741.163
Q. Is continuing education required to renew a license?
A. Yes. Approved sponsors are listed on the Board's website. Also refer to the Continuing Education (CE) Information. This information sheet is mailed to all new applicants and with the license renewal notice.
Q. Please explain about the audit for proof of continuing education hours earned.
A. All licensees must acquire continuing education hours acceptable to the Board in order to renew the license.
* The Board shall select for audit a random sample of licensees for each renewal month. The renewal form shall indicate whether the licensee has been selected for audit.
* A Licensee selected for audit shall submit documentation defined in the Act at the time the renewal form and fee are submitted to the Board.
* Failure to timely furnish this information or providing false information during the audit or renewal process are grounds for disciplinary action against the licensee.
* A licensee who is selected for continuing education audit may renew through the online renewal process. However, the license will not be considered renewed until required continuing education documents are received, accepted and approved by the Board office.
NOTE: The random audit for compliance with the continuing education requirements does not apply to reactivation of an inactive license or for late renewal of a license.
Q: What is the role of the radiologist in conducting the videofluoroscopic swallowing function study, commonly referred to as the “modified barium swallow?
A: Typically, the radiographic study is conducted by a speech-language pathologist, in conjunction with a radiologist or another physician who is knowledgeable regarding radiation safety and techniques. The speech-language pathologist’s responsibilities usually include administration and modification of the bolus material, positioning of the patient, examining compensatory swallow maneuvers, and interpretation of the physiology of the swallow. The speech-language pathologist should identify the causes and symptoms of dysphagia, make decisions about the safety of oral feeding, and recommend a plan of treatment for the dysphagia. The physician has primary responsibility for making a medical diagnosis and for identifying masses and structural deviations.
Q. May an assistant SLP be assigned service coordination duties in an Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program?
A. Yes, an assistant SLP may assist families in locating resources and completing paperwork, and perform other tasks that are typically assigned to service coordinators.
Q. In Early Childhood Intervention programs, a professional other than an SLP (e.g., OT, PT, educator) may perform a comprehensive assessment of an infant or toddler and identify developmental delays in communication skills. Does this mean that the infant or toddler automatically qualifies for speech-language therapy?
A. No. When other professionals evaluate an infant or toddler and provide an “informed clinical opinion”, indicating the child shows a developmental delay or atypical development in the area of communication, this information may be used to determine a child’s eligibility for the ECI program. However, only the licensed SLP is authorized to diagnose a speech-language disorder and determine if the child is a candidate for speech-language therapy.
Q. May the public schools employ a substitute to fill in when the speech-language pathologist or assistant is not available?
A. The only substitute that may be employed is one who holds a current, valid speech-language pathology, intern in speech-language pathology or assistant in speech-language pathology license or one who holds the Texas Education Agency's certificate in speech and hearing therapy. Occupation Code, 401.301 requires an individual to hold a license to practice in Texas. Exemptions are listed in Sections 401.051-401.060.
Q. I have been told by my employer to keep my therapy records in such a manner as to have it appear that I have given individual therapy to children I have seen in group therapy. This helps the school district collect more money from SHARS, but this sounds like fraud to me. What will happen if my records are investigated?
A. What you described is unethical and you could possibly have your license suspended if you were investigated and found in violation of the Code of Ethics. Your records must be accurate relative to the duration, dates, and type of services performed.
Q. Is a license required to practice speech-language pathology in Texas public schools?
A. The Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 401.054, states that the licensure law “does not prevent or restrict the activities and services or the use of an official title by a person who is certified in speech-language pathology by the Texas Education Agency if the person only performs speech-language pathology or audiology services as part of the person's duties within an agency, institution, or organization under the jurisdiction of the Texas Education Agency.” The Texas Education Agency no longer issues certificates in speech-language therapy, but individuals who hold a lifetime TEA certificate in speech and hearing therapy or speech-language therapy are allowed to practice in public schools without a license.