We all have to do it. It’s time-consuming, boring, and I’d rather spend my time doing actual therapy. However, taking solid, accurate data is important for several reasons:
- It helps us know where exactly our students stand in achieving their goals.
- It helps us better plan our therapy sessions. If we know exactly what they can do, we aren’t guestimating what to work on.
- We need it for other paperwork: progress reports, IEPs, etc.
- It gives us proof/leverage when presenting ideas to other faculty.
- It helps us to make decisions based on hard facts and information, not just how we feel.
- It’s required by law. In my state we have to provide proof of services and show our data/tally sheets if asked (especially if Medicaid eligible).
- It’s in our job description. See this ASHA article. Data collection and analysis are under our roles and responsibilities as SLPs in the schools.