Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Helpful Hint to Gain Perspective

On Thursday I spent about two hours preparing to write a report on an older student.  That's just the beginning of a longer process that will involve actually writing the final report and preparing information to add to her present level of performance in the IEP.  You might guess that it's hard for me to be concise; I really have to discipline myself and keep whittling away at my verbosity.

I spent the two hours reviewing the student's cumulative file which held her OT "history" in the schools--from early childhood classes until now--a total of 15 or so years.  OT was involved all through those years and I created a year-by-year summary of the focus of intervention over that time span.  She had about five different OTs over those years and it was interesting to read the consistency of effort from our OTs on her behalf.  It's very helpful to know when sensory issues and handwriting remediation and assistive technology came into play, and how the student responded and improved with OT working directly with her and consulting with her teachers and family.

This gives me a framework for writing her report and contributing to her IEP as a related service.  Now I have a perspective of understanding how the student responded, in the past, to activities designed to improve self help and functional fine motor skills.  If the family and/or staff wants to write a goal about XYZ I can provide the historical data on how she demonstrated improvement or not when it when was a targeted skill in ___ grade.  If the IEP team is considering addressing a skill such as writing her first and last names the student might have a better foundation for mastering the skill now that she's older, or it might not be as critical as another area, perhaps vocational skills or greater independence with self-help skills.

I really should do this historical "sleuthing" on all the students I receive from other OTs.  The insight is very helpful to my planning for the students' needs.

P.S.  Why the quilt photo?  It's only a lapquilt but I spent countless hours working on it.  Probably 9 hours just ripping out the seams and re-sewing them in the correct orientation.  My awful spatial relations skills really worked against me; I get so confused with how to line up the squares.  I've given away most of my treasured quilt fabric stash over the years--why torture myself?

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