CO-TREATMENT: When more than one discipline works with a patient at the same time.
The term “co-treat”, shorthand for co-treatment, may get thrown around in discussions during evaluations and treatment plans, and while common within the therapy world, a parent or caregiver hearing it for the first time might not understand what exactly that entails.
It simply means that two therapists work together with a patient at the same time, during the same session.
This is commonly done between Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy; but OT, PT, ST, and ABA can all integrate to provide co-treat options.
Deciding to Co-Treat
Establishing a co-treat must only occur when it would be beneficial to the patient. Will the two services done together actually result in a more effective and productive session, than done individually? For this to happen, the therapists have to truly integrate and work together – not just a “my turn, your turn” scenario. For example, a child with sensory processing issues may not be able to focus and engage in speech therapy without a sensory activity happening at the same time.
Instead of an OT providing ideas for a ST to use during their session, bringing the OT into the session to work on sensory issues while the ST is engaging in speech goals results in a more successful session overall.
When done effectively, there are many benefits to co-treatments. These include:
- Children find the session more enjoyable and are more engaged. For example, using the gym equipment available in an OT room while working on ST goals.
- Through collaboration, therapists can get creative, coming up with new ideas or providing options not available when working alone.
- Maximizing therapy time. If scheduling conflicts make two sessions difficult, a co-treat allows a patient to experience both services when time is limited.
- Extra hands are available for a child with severe behavior issues or violent outbursts.
At The Speech Pathology Group, we are always looking for innovative treatments and therapies that provide the maximum benefit to each of our individual patients. Co-treats can be an effective way to utilize the time a patient spends with therapists and result in greater progress toward treatment goals by combining practices.
SPG-CT only recommends co-treats when we believe they are the best option. If you have questions, please ask. Our goal is always to provide the highest quality therapy treatments, and co-treats are one way we bring added benefit to our patients.