Therapy services occur in either a private clinic or within a school environment. We’ve explained the similarities and differences between these two settings in our article: Understanding the Difference: Clinic-Based vs School-Based Therapy. For parents looking to the start of a new school year, initiating services and therapy sessions at a school is on many plates. Our article Coordinating Therapy Services with Your School breaks down how to begin, and the differences between a 504 and an IEP plan.
The next step is integrating the services received at a private clinic like The Speech Pathology Group and Rehab Services of CT, with those being offered and provided by the schools. By working together, therapists in each environment are able to deliver a well-rounded, whole-child therapeutic approach.
Benefits of Working Together
The first question may be – does a child need both? Can one location be enough? It may be. And circumstances like insurance, severity of disorder, and availability of specialists may also be determining factors. But assuming a child is eligible and can receive both, here are the key benefits:
- Frequency: Receiving services in both locations increases the number of minutes and direct exposure a child receives.
- 1:1 and Group: Clinic sessions are usually individual, while school sessions are in groups. A child needs both – getting targeted 1:1 attention, while also interacting with peers.
- Skill Translation: Therapists are able to evaluate how well skills translate from the clinic or school, to home and family, and back to school or a 1:1 setting as well. True mastery of a goal is evident when applied in multiple environments.
How We Work Together
At SPGCT, we pride ourselves on working effectively and efficiently with our counterparts within the schools. In fact, many of our therapists provide services in both environments, which makes collaborating that much easier, as we understand the framework inside a school.
In order for us to successfully work together, the key is regular and clear communication. This includes:
- Plan Sharing: Treatment plans from a clinic, along with 504/IEP plans from the school, should be shared with each provider, so everyone is aware of the specific goals and details.
- Progress Reports: Our parents receive weekly progress notes, and we sit down every 6-weeks to discuss.
- Conferencing: Often, we’ll use the final minutes of a session to conference in by phone with other providers to share updates and answer questions.
For parents and caregivers, signing the release forms that allow everyone to talk with each other and share information is also extremely helpful.
When it comes to therapy services, The Speech Pathology Group and Rehab Services of CT is committed to working successfully with everyone involved in a child’s growth and development. Our goal will always be to support the other therapists and contribute to a whole-child approach that utilizes all the resources available across multiple disciplines to the greatest benefit of the child.