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.
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 different programs and grants that address service delivery issues to students with disabilities. She also has completed research projects, worked on different local and national committees, and is a past chair of the School Systems Special Interest Section. She has mentored student research studies for more than 12 years and has extensive experience with qualitative research, single subject studies and survey research. Currently, Dr. Swinth and some of her students have been researching the effectiveness and outcomes of dynamic seating in general education classrooms to support student participation. Other research interests include effective and efficient occupational therapy assessment and services in the schools, assistive technology, and service delivery options for children with disabilities. Dr. Swinth is currently completing the data analysis of a national research project that looks at issues of efficacy and efficiency of school-based practice. Dr. Swinth has presented locally and nationally regarding issues of school-based practice for occupational therapists and has authored several chapters in books regarding occupational therapy service delivery in the schools as well as pediatric service delivery. Most recently, she authored a chapter on school-based services for Willard and Spackman’s Occupational Therapy and a chapter on services for children with severe disabilities in the new AOTA textbook for school-based therapists. She also recently has several publications in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy on services for children with autism. Dr. Swinth is the founding editor of the Journal of Occupational Therapy In Schools and Early Intervention.
In this chapter, we will discuss specific IDEA 2004 requirements that structure the evaluation process in schools including reasons for referral, specific terminology and ethical requirements when using standardized tests.
In this chapter we will discuss different tools and strategies used to complete evaluations in school-based settings. Pros and cons of different tools and strategies will be discussed with an emphasis on the domain and process of occupational therapy as defined by the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework, 3rd ed.
When evaluating children and youth in schools, occupational therapists must consider the student, the task and the context. Using a strength-based approach, this chapter discusses different evaluation considerations that can structure the evaluation process by occupational therapists in schools.
Upon completion of the evaluation process, occupational therapists write a summary that describes findings in terms of student participation and function. This chapter provides strategies and considerations for writing the summary.
Yvonne and Sheryl, a practicing school-based OT, discuss the realities of evaluation in school-based practice.
Service Delivery Models in the School: A Case Study Application
presented by Yvonne Swinth
How to Write an OT Educational Evaluation for School-Based Therapists
presented by Yvonne Swinth