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: 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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Classroom Integration, Part 4 – An Authentic and Natural Environment

What Are Natural Environments?

In Early Intervention, "natural environments" are emphasized as the primary and most desired setting for therapeutic and educational services, and are included in the legislation mandating EI services (Part C of IDEA). In the school system, "least restrictive environment" is a related concept, though not as intuitively understood. However, both concepts emphasize participation in typical settings, or those that non-disabled peers access. Examples of natural settings in the schools might look like: A speech therapist supporting literacy instruction at the elementary level, a social studies group project in middle school, or interview practice in the high school. An occupational therapist supporting writing centers at the elementary level, a cooking task in home economics in middle school, or a driver's education course in high school. A physical therapist supporting recess participation in the elementary school, participation in team sports in middle school, or accessing community and vocational environments at the high school level.

How To Incorporate Natural Environments Into Practice

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