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A Pediatric Perspective

Using Assessments in School Based Practice

Published March 15, 2013 12:22 PM by Cecilia Cruse

One of the most challenging skills, I think, for OTs and PTs who make the transition from a medical to educational service model is understanding and implementing assessments correctly.   In an outpatient or rehab setting, for example, we get used to completing tests (such as the PDMS2 or the BOT-2) and setting separate OT/ PT goals and objectives from the results.  As a school therapist I, (and many of my colleagues) found that  these are often too heavily relied on as a determinant for service provision so have steered away from using more standardized motor based assessments in the educational setting. Although they may help provide a baseline, the real skill as school therapists is using the powers of observation in the child’s natural environment (classroom, lunchroom, playground, PE etc.) and tying in what we know as to why a child may be struggling in a particular area. From here, making the connection between what we see in assessments then applying these results, as part of a collaborative team, into meaningful objectives and effective classroom strategies is the key to transforming into a great school based therapist! Do you use standardized motor assessments in your school practice? Why or why not?

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