Collaborating for Student Success: A Guide for School-Based Occupational Therapy SPCC
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Barbara Hanft, MA, OTR, FAOTA, and Jayne Shepherd, MS, OTR, FAOTA
Earn 2 AOTA CEUs (25 NBCOT PDUs/20 contact hours
Collaboration is generally referred to by school-based practitioners as team meetings, informal discussions, working in the classroom, helping teachers and aides, and general getting along with one's team mates.
Collaboration is rarely described as an interactive team process focused on student performance and influenced by critical personal and contextual variables. The key to effective collaboration in education settings is learning to use one's professional knowledge and interpersonal skills to blend hands-on services for students with the team and system supports for families, educators, and the school system at large.
This course is designed to engage school-based occupational therapists in collaborative practice with education teams. The ultimate goal of team collaboration for occupational therapists is to ensure that students engage in educationally relevant occupations as part of their typical school routines, or "paces" within a variety of school "places and spaces," such as the classroom, cafeteria, gymnasium, and community work sites. This course is a practical guide that highlights how occupational therapists collaborate effectively with family and education partners in the schools and connect collaboration to the mandate in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) and No Child Left Behind Act to help all students participate in the general curriculum.
General Learning Objectives (Note: Each lesson has specific learning objectives)
- Identify the characteristics and challenges of providing collaborative occupational therapy services and supports within a historical perspective of working in inclusive schools.
- Illustrate the collaborative roles occupational therapists engage in to support students with disabilities in multiple school contexts within the context of a general education curriculum.
- Analyze the contextual variables that influence how students, families, and education personnel collaborate in an interactive team process.
- Describe strategies and approaches for building team partnerships, including mentoring and coaching other school-based therapists.
- Review the evidence for providing in-context team supports to ensure students' participation in inclusive environments.
- Consider practical strategies for resolving challenges related to participating on collaborative teams to provide occupational therapy services and supports.
- Recognize the communication and teaming skills needed to effectively engage in collaboration to support student learning within different environments in a school.
- Identify the process of initiating and sustaining changes in practice and influencing families/education personnel to engage in collaboration with occupational therapists.
Barbara Hanft, MA, OTR, FAOTA,has 35 years experience as a clinician, lecturer, and lobbyist. An occupational therapist with a graduate degree in counseling psychology, she has managed a rural early intervention program, directed therapeutic services in an urban special education setting, and developed a private practice as a developmental consultant. She has also designed a broad range of professional development programs, including a nationally recognized model in-service to promote family-centered care in early intervention programs. Hanft teaches, writes, and consults nationwide with schools, early intervention programs, and related community agencies regarding family-centered care in natural environments, child development, and special education and related services in the public schools. She is a prolific writer with more than 25 publications in early childhood and team collaboration.
Jayne Shephered, MS, OTR, FAOTA, has worked for more than 26 years as a therapist and occupational therapy educator. A former special education teacher, she understands the unique needs of teachers working with related-services personnel. Before coming to academia, Shepherd worked as a clinician, fieldwork coordinator, and supervisor in acute care, rehabilitation, and inpatient and outpatient settings for children and adults. She teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University and consults with varied pediatric and special education programs in Virginia. Shepherd is the assistant director for post-professional education at VCU; coordinates Fieldwork I; and teaches content related to pediatrics, school-based practice, assistive technology, therapeutic activities, and clinical reasoning. She has organized and presented at numerous conferences related to school-based practice.
Gloria Frolek Clark, MS, OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA, is a 1977 graduate of the occupational therapy program at the University of North Dakota. She has an MS in early childhood special education from Iowa State University and currently is a doctoral student. During the past 30 years, Frolek Clark has specialized in occupational therapy services for pediatric clients in home, community, and school settings. She was cofounder and chair of the AOTA School System Special Interest Section. Frolek Clark has presented nationally on early intervention services and school-based practice and has authored several book chapters and articles on practice. She works for the Heartland Area Education Agency providing occupational therapy services in early intervention, preschool, school-age, and community programs and is a consultant for the Iowa Department of Education in Des Moines.
Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is a professor at the University of Puget Sound and has more than 20 years of experience in school-based practice. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to school-based practice and services for children and is the author of more than 10 book chapters and articles specific to service delivery in the schools. Swinth is an AOTA representative on the National IDEA Resource Cadre of the federally funded IDEA Partnership Projects, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and currently is co-chair of Occupational Therapists in Schools, a standing committee for the Washington Occupational Therapy Association. Currently, she is analyzing data from a national research project that is addressing efficacy and efficiency in school-based occupational therapy.
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