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

presented by Yvonne Swinth

Accreditation Check:

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 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.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Introduction

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

Service Delivery Models in the School: A Case Study Application

Service Delivery Models in the School: A Case Study Application

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How to Write an OT Educational Evaluation for School-Based Therapists

How to Write an OT Educational Evaluation for School-Based Therapists

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