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Service Delivery in School: An Overview of Best Practice by Occupational Therapy Practitioners

presented by Yvonne Swinth

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Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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This course provides an overview of occupational therapy service delivery in the schools. Utilizing current research and service delivery trends, emphasis is on best practice strategies. Key issues that may impact professional decision-making in the schools and service delivery (e.g., Common Core, Response to Intervention-RtI, literacy) are discussed. The course also elaborates on strategies for evaluating the need for occupational therapy services in schools.

Meet Your Instructor

Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Dr. Swinth is a professor and program chair at the University of Puget Sound. She has more than 25 years of experience working in pediatrics, primarily in school-based settings. Within the schools, she has provided therapy services for children from birth to 21 years of age and has been involved in the development of several…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Introduction

A brief history of occupational therapy services in the schools is presented. This is followed by a discussion of the changing roles of occupational therapy services in the schools with an emphasis on current practice trends and issues affecting services.

2. Service Delivery

In order to receive occupational therapy services in the schools as part of a special education program, students must be evaluated by an occupational therapist in order to determine strengths and needs. Services can be provided on behalf of the student or to the student depending on need, program and placement. This chapter discusses many of the broad considerations that may impact professional decision-making and school-based services.

3. Services and Supports

In this chapter, the learner will review different services and supports in the school as defined by IDEA. The IDEA definition of related services, occupational therapy, supplementary aids and services, services on behalf of the child and assistive technology are explored. Emphasis is on providing services in the least restrictive environment.

4. OT Services in Schools

With an emphasis on occupation, the continuum of occupational therapy services in the schools is explored. The domain of occupational therapy, as defined by the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, is applied to school-based practice.

5. Documenting OT Services

While documentation is not a primary focus of this course, this chapter provides a brief overview of considerations for documenting occupational therapy services.

6. Change

Over the past 30 years, there have been many changes in occupational therapy services in the schools. This chapter discusses a framework for working through change within the schools.

More Courses in this Series

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This course provides an overview of evaluation considerations when working in public school practice, within the context of the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). Emphasis is placed on selecting appropriate tools and strategies, decision-making and collaboration with other members of the educational team.

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Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
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Video Runtime: 89 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 39 Minutes

In this course, four student (preschool, elementary, middle, and high school) cases are presented to illustrate best practice considerations for service delivery in schools. These are a continuation of the cases presented in Evaluation Strategies and Case Examples for School-Based Therapists. The course begins with a review of key principles for occupational therapy service, followed by a brief description of the occupational therapy options that can be used. The course then describes cases centered around children in preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school, including service delivery considerations for each age group, different “clients” an occupational therapist may consider when providing occupational therapy, and utilization of the OTPF-III as a guide. The course concludes with a Q&A session discussing issues around transiting to school-based service.

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Writing a school-based occupational therapy evaluation summary can be challenging for some practitioners. The purpose of an educational evaluation is to determine if occupational therapy services are necessary for a student to be able to access and participate in his/her educational program. This course will provide a background for a school-based occupational therapy evaluation and then go over how write an evaluation summary step-by-step. At the end of this course, participants will have a format and considerations for writing an educational occupational therapy evaluation summary.

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