Classroom Integration, Part 5 – Parent Perception

In previous posts, we have talked about what classroom integration is, examples of classroom integration, collaborative consultation, and natural environments. In part 5 of this discussion on school-based practice, we take on another factor that influences successful classroom integration of related services: parent perception. Parents are experts on their own children, and are key members of the IEP team. As such, it is very important that the relationships between therapists and families are mutually trusting and respectful. Maintaining open communication is a way to form and maintain a relationship with parents.

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Research Update: RTI, Motor Control, Sleep and Brain Development in Autism, E-Readers and Dyslexia

Effectiveness of a 10-Week Tier-1 Response to Intervention Program in Improving Fine Motor and Visual–Motor Skills in General Education Kindergarten Students

This study, published in the September/October American Journal of Occupational Therapy, discussed a short-term program designed to address fine and visual motor skills on an RTI basis. The program, titled the Specialized Teaching and Enhancement of Performance Skills for Kindergarteners, or STEPS-K, was implemented in several kindergarten classrooms, and incorporated weekly lessons with classroom center activities. The authors found a small but significant improvement in test scores, using the Beery–Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual–Motor Integration, 5th edition and the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, 2nd Edition, and no change in pencil grasp (measured with the Developmental Scale of Pencil and Crayon Grips).  

Sleep Education Helps Families of Children with Autism

Researchers from Vanderbilt, the University of Colorado Denver, and the University of Toronto recently measured the impact of parent education on improving the sleep of children with autism. The interventions were comprised of shorter, individual sessions, or longer, small group meetings. Parents were provided with education about sleep and autism, specific strategies and individualized development of sleep schedules and routines. Both intervention strategies demonstrated an improvement in parent competence. Additionally, the materials used in the interventions are available for free, online at Autism Speaks, including the Sleep Tool Kit and Quick Tips. 

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Research Update: Self Regulation, Cursive, Autism and Communication, and Motor Performance

Preschool Classroom Processes as Predictors of Children's Cognitive Self-Regulation Skills Development An article to be published in School Psychology Quarterly describes the findings of a large study of preschool classroom in the US Southeast. The researchers found that preschool classroom environments had an impact on the development of executive functioning.  More specifically, they found that positive interactions in the classroom supported the development of self-regulation skills. The researchers discuss the need for more preventative classroom management, rather than using "behavior disapproval" to correct young children. The Influence of Childhood Aerobic Fitness on Learning and Memory

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