Progress Report Tips for SLPs

Ah, it's that time of the year. Therapy is rolling along, referrals are on a steady pace, it feels like whatever "balance" is might actually be achievable, and then the REMINDER on the calendar pops up - END OF REPORTING PERIOD. And suddenly, the prospect of writing multiple progress reports makes us lie on the ground in the fetal position. To help with your sanity, and to keep people from wondering why the SLP is speechless, we've rounded up a few tips to help SLPs get through progress reports.

Plan Ahead

I know, easier said than done. Try creating calendar reminders as a countdown, as in "2 weeks until reporting period ends", "1 week until reporting period ends", etc. Just plant a seed in your mind. You don't have to do anything with the reminder, unless you want to. It's kind of like allowing for a snooze (or few) on your morning alarm. When the final reminder of "Reporting Period Ends TODAY" comes up, you'll be less frantic.

Check the Data

At least two weeks before progress reports, take a quick look at the data for each student. Don't analyze the data. This should take no more than a few seconds for each student. Quickly make a list of students you need data for before writing the progress reports. Maybe a student has been absent due to sickness, or a student moved in mid-reporting period, or you yourself were out. This fast glance will tell you which students you need some good hard data before the due date. And yes, I've learned this the hard way for multiple reporting periods.


Consider writing progress reports for students who have services in addition to speech first. The Sp Ed teachers will thank you. If your data is already in the progress reports when the Sp Ed teacher is ready to print them, they might kiss your feet. Not really, but this act will go a looong way in working with them.

It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Chunk your assignment. How many reports can you reasonably write at one time? Is it a time limit, like 30 minutes? I tend to write my progress reports by groups. For example, I try to get through at least 3 groups at a time. Or complete all the reports for the morning groups, take a break, then concentrate on the afternoon groups. 

Make Sure Your Hard Work is Seen

You've done the therapy, the data collection, and written the progress reports. Make sure the right people get the progress reports, whether it's the teacher, parent/guardian, or student.

The progress reports I am required to use have tiny print. They are not user-friendly for reading. To solve the problem of distributing the progress reports, I use Progress Report Covers for SLPs. These are templates, and they are editable! I download one the pages, type in the common information (date, my name, and school/district). Then, I run off a bunch of the covers and write in the student's name and grade/teacher. The progress report covers are ready to staple on top of the progress reports! Parents/guardians and teachers have user-friendly print to know that the progress report is included.

Reward Yourself!

Progress reports are hard work. Treat yo self! And give yourself a big ole' pat on the back!

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1 comment

  1. I just read the quote about progress reports in the ASHA Leader and laughed out loud - how true!!!! I usually have about 70 to write each quarter...


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