What Is Functional? It has become almost impossible to write a treatment plan or submit a claim to a third party payer without using the word functional. A speech-language pathologist must identify functional goals, using functional tasks, and show functional gains, or reimbursement for treatment is likely to be denied. This position paper ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   November 01, 1995
What Is Functional?
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Roberta J. Elman
    Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center, Easter Seal Society of the Bay Area, Oakland, CA
  • Ellen Bernstein-Ellis
    Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center, Easter Seal Society of the Bay Area, Oakland, CA
  • Contact author: Roberta J. Elman, PhD, Director, Speech-Language Department, Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center, Easter Seal Society of the Bay Area, 2757 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Practice Management / Supplement: Clinical Aphasiology Conference Supplement
Supplement Article   |   November 01, 1995
What Is Functional?
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1995, Vol. 4, 115-117. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0404.115
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1995, Vol. 4, 115-117. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0404.115

It has become almost impossible to write a treatment plan or submit a claim to a third party payer without using the word functional. A speech-language pathologist must identify functional goals, using functional tasks, and show functional gains, or reimbursement for treatment is likely to be denied. This position paper argues that the definition of functional has changed over time and now is becoming synonymous with basic skills. This terminological evolution has far-reaching implications for choosing our treatment candidates and determining treatment goals, as well as dramatically influencing the future of clinical aphasiology.

Acknowledgments
This work was partially supported by a grant received from the National Easter Seal Society Research Program. This paper is dedicated to the memory of PG, who inspired its writing.
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