Module 1 - Early Identification Practices: A Framework for Occupational Therapists introduces the learner to early identification legislation, programs, and practices that promote the health of young children and families. Occupational therapists learn about identifying developmental, educational, medical, psychosocial, and behavioral risk factors as part of routine evaluation procedures. The role of the occupational therapist in providing early identification services is examined, with a special emphasis on surveillance and screening services. Finally, important health literacy concepts and practices are addressed to help occupational therapists deliver effective early identification services
This module will take approximately 90 minutes to complete. Knowledge checks and short reflection-type questions are provided to reinforce the content. A personal development activity that involves the creation of an early identification plan concludes the module. References and resources appear at the end of the module to supplement content and further learning.
· Mobile Access – the module can be easily viewed on a tablet making your learning portable and facilitating on-the-job access to embedded resources.
After completing this module, you will:
1. Identify effective principles for occupational therapy service delivery in early intervention that incorporate early identification practices promoting health of children and families.
2. Explain the role of the occupational therapist in promoting health and preventing further impairment or delay as described in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
3. Define Child Find as described in IDEA - Part C (Early Intervention).
4. Identify opportunities for occupational therapists to engage in early identification activities described in Child Find.
5. Describe the differences between surveillance, screening, and diagnosing.
6. Specify valid and reliable screening methods for identifying developmental, educational, medical, psychosocial, and behavioral risk factors that can be embedded into routine evaluation procedures.
7. Identify effective, evidence-based health literacy strategies employed by occupational therapists to assist families navigate educational and health-related systems of care for diagnostic and other necessary services.
8. Create a personal plan for incorporating early identification practices within current early intervention service provision to promote improved child and family outcomes.
Kris Barnekow, PhD, OTR/L has served families of children enrolled in services through Milwaukee County’s Birth to 3 Program. Dr. Barnekow’s clinical experience provided her with an understanding of the importance of family empowerment and navigation through systems of care. For that reason her research has focused on health promotion and disease prevention strategies for parents and children who have special health care needs. A primary concentration of Dr. Barnekow’s research is the promotion of optimal developmental outcomes through early identification of social emotional disorders in mothers and young children. Collectively, the findings of her research indicate that mothers of children with special health care needs who reside in urban areas are more likely to screen positive for depression and perinatal posttraumatic stress disorder. Even though the Institute of Medicine and the CDC recommend screening in community settings to detect maternal and child social emotional disorders, early intervention providers are currently not incorporating this evidence into practice. Consequently, screening of mothers and children remains relatively low in early intervention settings.
Another focus of Dr. Barnekow’s research program is health literacy. As such, she is part of an interdisciplinary team that has investigated the readability of early intervention program literature and the health literacy skills of parents who have children enrolled in early intervention programs. While parents of children enrolled in Birth to 3 possess adequate functional health literacy; many parents/caregivers of children with special health care needs continue to have difficulty navigating multiple systems of care. This may be partially due to poor written and oral communication skills of their providers, which negatively affects the parents’ interactive health literacy abilities. She aims to collaborate with scholars who have a shared interest in investigating the relation between health literacy concepts, early identification of social emotional disorders, and promotion of optimal outcomes for children with special health care needs.
AOTA Classification Codes for Continuing Education Activities
Category 2: Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation and Intervention
Continuing Education Credit
A certificate of completion for .15 AOTA CEU (1.88 NBCOT PDUs/1.5 contact hours) will be awarded upon successful completion of this course.