While working for a medium sized school district I was supported in exploring the current research regarding this issue. I was encouraged to evaluate the effectiveness of various speech-language pathology k-12 service delivery models, while considering the population I was serving. At that time, I was mainly serving students who spent the majority of their day in a self-contained classrooms, referred to as life skills or functional life skills classrooms. Based on our research, myself and several other SLPs decided to launch a pilot project. There were several aspects to the pilot, but in terms of service delivery, we decided to concentrate on building relationships with our teachers and teaching assistants using classroom based services that included team teaching and one teach, one watch (Flynn, 2010).
These classroom based service models were initially met by classroom special education teachers with fear. Change is hard. But, what this model offered was "in the moment" modeling, coaching and discussions with the student, teacher and teaching assistants on how to best facilitate communication and integrate the student's AAC devices into all aspects of their day.
Using these models takes time. Time to develop trust and relationships with other professionals. I believe my successes have far outweighed my failures to date. Since implementing this model, I have not gone back to pull-out services. In my experience, the "one person is an expert" model did not work. Successful AAC use is a group effort and the responsibilities must be shared among participants.
I create weekly lessons using some specialized software and technology as well as "mainstream" technology. Please check out my section: K-12 activities that get kids communicating!
Flynn, P. (2010). New Service Delivery Models: Connecting SLPs with Teachers and Curriculum. The ASHA Leader.