Speech Language Pathology workers request Governor Greg Abbott to sign temporary waiver

El Paso News

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many working in Speech Language Pathology in the Borderland and Texas say their career is in jeopardy, along with the progress their patients have made.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many working in Speech Language Pathology in the Borderland and Texas say their career is in jeopardy, along with the progress their patients have made. That concern is now being taken to Governor Greg Abbott.

Some SLP assistants and interns said they’re seeing a cut in their work load since they’re not technically allowed to practice on their own right now.

It’s adding pressure to SLP’s who have a masters degree, and can continue to practice.

“I’m a health worker and I give home therapy services. I am risking myself, my family, the patients by going into their homes and giving them therapy. So we want this waiver to be signed, that way we can provide telehealth therapy,” Daniela Castillo, an SLP Assistant shared.

Castillo is one of many SLP assistants along with interns affected by current license regulations in Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic, “I’m not being able to see half my case load. My job was cut down. I know some of my colleagues are filing for unemployment. They can’t work although they could if this waiver was signed.”​

Castillo said those cases taken from assistants or interns are now being handed over to SLP’s who have a masters and can continue to provide therapy. She said it not only affects those SLP’s, but patients as well.

“Some of these children are medically fragile. Like they don’t want us in their houses and that’s totally understandable,” Castillo said.

That’s why an online petition requesting for the Texas Governor to temporarily waive certain regulations has been made, in hopes that it will allow SLP assistants and interns to provide teletherapy during the crisis.

“So they’re signing this petition, asking ‘We do want our therapists our kids work great with this person, they connect well’, but a way we’re just trying to be healthy and safe,” Castillo shared.

With how these current regulations stand, Castillo said it can pose a delay on patients making improvements, “For patients, we want to see them improve and without therapy they’re being affected by this so if they could just sign it for us, and that way we could get the word out to the governor, the sooner the better.”​

Castillo added switching therapists is not an easy task, especially for some children who have grown to trust a therapist they may no longer be able to work with if this current regulation stands.

If you’re interested in taking a look at the petition and signing it, click here.

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