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RTI in school based therapy

Last post 03-30-2019, 10:42 AM by allister allen. 4 replies.
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  •  01-15-2010, 12:15 PM

    RTI in school based therapy

    I am an occupational Therapist working in school based therapy. RtI (Response to Intervention) is being pushed in our district. In following this program, I have been asked by supervisors to perform “informal OT sessions” with children who are not currently a part of special education and for whom parental permission has not been received. I feel this is contradicting to some of out practice acts/guidelines. Is this being implemented elsewhere?? Legally I feel it is a risk servicing kids when parental consent has not been recieved along with kids already in the special education system. How can we provide the same services and call it different things?  I offered to screen the child and make recommendations but didn't feel comfortable completeing weekly consults or pulling the child with other peers already participating in OT. I think RtI is a good idea... I am just not sure how OT fits... any input would be appreciated!!
  •  01-15-2010, 1:01 PM

    Re: RTI in school based therapy

    Hi Jocelyn,

    Are your supervisors administrators or people who know what the special education laws are that pertains to therapies in the schools?  I also work in the schools so I've had to deal with situations like yours.  I think you are correct to be cautious with providing therapy to someone  not on your caseload.  You are the one at risk (if you are required to have a state license you risk losing that) and need to protect yourself.  I think it would be wonderful if we as OTs had the opportunity to work with some of the children who aren't our clients, but OT, SLP, PT, etc. are mandated for children in special education by federal law.  With the whole least restrictive laws you would be ignoring law and could be potentially sued by parents who did not give their permission for you to work with them and rightfully so.  As a parent I would expect to know who is working with my child and why. And there are definitely child advocates out there who would be happy to sue you and your school district for breaking the law.  You need to explain to your supervisors how IDEA and least restrictive environment are mandated by federal laws and that you would be at risk for a law suit and losing your license.  Hopefully this will get them to understand why you are refusing/reluctant to provide services to children not on your caseload.  I wish you the best of luck and I hope all turns out well for you.

    Elisa Salazar-MacKenzie, OTR/L


  •  03-02-2010, 4:48 PM

    Re: RTI in school based therapy

    I work in Maine and we are part of the RTI team as well. We (both OT's and PT) provide weekly fine motor/gross motor groups within the K and 1st grade classrooms, one time a week for 30min. We come in with a fine motor project and lead the group to complete the sequence of steps for a finished project. The teacher stays and works to help students as well. It offers us the opportunity to collaborate and plan other ways to integrate skills.

    I also go into classrooms and provide support for students during literacy/writing periods in the elementary grades. We work on writing or accessing technology to get the job done ( I have my ATP certification too).  I work in middle school and high school with students with learning challenges. It is more technology based in those grades and lots of consultation with teachers, students and support staff.

    I would love to tell you this is the way to go...but budgets are tight and here in maine where I am we are being hit hard. I just learned today that after 14yrs in my position....they are cutting it. Feeling a bit shocked today but happy to respond if you have any questions or comments.



  •  01-27-2013, 3:25 PM

    Re: RTI in school based therapy

    I'm an OTA Student currently placed with our local school district for my first level II clinical. My supervising OTR sent me on a research adventure to determine whether or not, and how, a child with an orthopedic condition can qualify for special education services in order to receive OT for FM and manipulation of classroom materials. She also directed me to look into RTI, though I've become confused as to how it fits. If a child must qualify for SPED to receive OT, then how is OT allowed to contribute to RTI and where do the funds come from to pay for their services? I also am having a great amount of trouble determining how orthopedic conditions relate to RTI since everything I've read only mentions specific learning disabilities. I have the same concerns about the legality of providing therapy services to non-SPED students, whether or not the parent is informed. Some models I've read about involve the parent in every aspect, but IDEA specifically states that the child must receive SPED. IDEA also allows for 15% of SPED fund to be used to implement RTI models. Am I missing where it allows OT's to treat under RTI?
  •  03-30-2019, 10:42 AM

    Re: RTI in school based therapy

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