Best practices for school-based occupational therapy practitioners and elementary school educators collaboration: a hybrid training model
Kirk, Lindsay Marie
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School-based occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) often face challenges impacting their ability to collaborate and communicate consistently with educators, including decreased time, lack of resources, educators’ limited knowledge regarding occupational therapy (OT) scope of practice, informal communication and decreased focus on preventive or classroom-wide strategies (Truong & Hodgetts, 2017; Benson et al., 2016; Bucey & Provident, 2018; Miller-Kuhaneck & Watling, 2018). These factors then decrease carry-over of OT strategies into the classroom for greater generalization of skills (Truong & Hodgetts, 2017). Additionally, educators may have difficulty generating necessary information for OT screening and evaluation referrals (Truong & Hodgetts, 2017). There is a need for collaboration to occur more regularly within a formalized context in the school setting. Best Practices for School-Based Occupational Therapy Practitioners and Elementary School Educators Collaboration: A Hybrid Training Model, seeks to address many of these challenges through a theory-driven and evidence-based educational training program for elementary school educators. The training is provided in a hybrid format with the educational content being presented on the Nearpod platform, and in-person collaboration opportunities with the facilitating OTP to occur twice during the program in order to individualize the program content. The training program seeks to increase the elementary school educators’ knowledge regarding school-based OT scope of practice and increase their self-efficacy and knowledge in relation to implementing OT strategies into their classroom. Long term impacts of the program seek to improve students’ academic Individualized Education Program (IEP) outcomes.