Friday, June 10, 2011

New Year's Resolutions (for next September)

What went right this year?  What got a little better compared to last year?
I'm talking about the occupational therapist.

Starting assessments as soon as I received the referral from our department secretary helped me get them completed prior to the meeting.  It also allowed me to have extra time to print out pertinent handouts for the families and staff and distribute them at the meeting. 
Sometimes we related services folks are told about meetings with just a teensy bit of notice so it really pays off to start assessments immediately.

Doing a brief, initial observation of the student helps my thoughts percolate and decide what else I need to observe the next time.  I often go into an assessment thinking that "A" is needed and it ends up being "B" instead, so this helps me get my facts straight prior to interacting 1-1 with the student.

Inserting photos into the report helped clarify my description of the student's skills and needs.  I just take pictures of the student's hands but parents and staff love it and understand what I'm trying to describe in the report.

We receive an enormous amount of referrals due to problems with handwriting.  I now ask lots of questions about the amount of handwriting instruction provided in class prior to the referral, the materials used and the availability of special ed staff for handwriting remediation.  Of course, I try to do this in a nice way.  I see my role as a coach to students and staff in handwriting training and handwriting remediation, not as the default person on staff for "fixing" handwriting.

Resolutions for next year?  I'd like to develop lists of teachers to share customized e-mails about various topics--using portable word processors, fine motor ideas for the classroom, tips from the Handwriting Without Tears website, ideas for students with severe intellectual disabilities...

What did you do well this year?

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