“In the last five years alone, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the need for special education professionals in schools across the country,” said Lesley Slaughter, Soliant – Schools Division Vice President
ATLANTA April 26, 2018
Soliant, a leading specialty healthcare staffing provider and part of the Adecco Group, today announces a report titled “Serving Children with Autism: School Staffing Challenges”, an in-depth review of the current state of specialized professionals in schools that are assigned in-part to help students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Through this latest report, Soliant has identified a dramatic increase in demand for school-based healthcare staffing. This demand, according to the company, is outpacing staffing needs in hospitals and other medical settings as schools have become a critical source for services needed by children on the Autism spectrum.
“In the last five years alone, we’ve seen tremendous growth in the need for special education professionals in schools across the country,” said Lesley Slaughter, Soliant – Schools Division Vice President. “This shift from traditional healthcare settings tells us that more children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are getting the attention and care they need. In addition, this also applies to those living in rural, hard-to-reach areas, as we’re bridging potential gaps in care via teletherapy programs that allow professionals to provide critical services to students up to thousands of miles away, virtually.”
The report takes an in-depth look at the following positions and how they have grown and been implemented in school systems:
- Special Education Teachers – Soliant has seen a dramatic 1722 percent increase in placements of this profession over the last five years, particularly in states such as California, New Mexico, Washington, and Illinois.
- Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) – Speech-Language Pathologists are in high demand and was Soliant’s most-placed position in each of the last five years within schools. In a recent American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) survey, 48 percent of school-based SLPs reported that there were more job openings than job seekers. This trend is expected to continue, as The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 21 percent increase in the number of SLP positions by 2024.
- School Occupational Therapists – Currently, more than 13,000 occupational therapists work in schools across the country, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Bureau notes that there will be an increased demand for occupational therapists to work with children with autism, and that job growth will move faster than the national average. Second to SLPs, OTs are the most-staffed professionals in Soliant’s school staffing division.
- School Psychologists – Schools are working to address the shortage and increase access to school psychology services with increased recruitment. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) reports an anticipated shortage of 15,000 school psychologists by the year 2020, making it an attractive track for students interested in non-teaching educational roles. Soliant has seen a 144 percent increase in the placement of school psychologists over the last five years.
As part of Soliant’s report, a one-on-one interview was conducted with Alexa Herbers, a Speech-Language Pathologist for Aurora Public Schools. While recognizing that there’s still much progress to be made in the treatment of ASD, Alexa has seen improvements.
“I still have encounters where I feel the need to educate others on their perception of the disorder, but overall I am so fortunate to work in a school where Autism is accepted by the majority,” said Alexa. “Students and teachers are always willing to lend a hand, have students join different groups, and really want to learn about the disorder as a whole. There’s still a long way to go, but it’s amazing to see the little steps being made at the ground level.”
In addition to an in-depth look at specific growth areas, the report also details creative solutions to staffing these critical positions, through the use of teletherapy services, staffing agency utilization and “grow-your-own” programs.
Click here to access Soliant’s Serving Children with Autism: School Staffing Challenges report.
To learn more about Soliant, please visit soliant.com.
Soliant, an Adecco Group company, is a leading provider of specialized healthcare staffing services to school districts, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. By supplying traveling healthcare professionals on both temporary and direct hire assignments, Soliant delivers comprehensive healthcare staffing services to schools and facilities across the United States.
For more information, please contact:
Vice President of Operations and Marketing