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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Classroom Integration, Part 3 – Collaborative Consultation

Welcome to the third part of our discussion on classroom integration - check out part 1 and part 2, where we talked about the different models of integrating therapy services into the classroom, and the factors that can support more integrated services. Now that we have talked about the factors supporting integration of related services into the classroom - how do we engineer these factors into our environment?

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Classroom Integration – Part 2 – Inclusion Examples

What can inclusion look like? In our last post on including therapy sessions in the classroom, we talked about the range of service delivery models, from individual, pull-out sessions, to providing individual support within the classroom routine. In this post, we share two references that discuss what inclusion can look like in the school setting.

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Classroom Integration, Part 1 – Therapist Goal Setting

In the public school system, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists, with other therapists and professionals, are known as Related Service providers. Per legislation, the purpose of these services is to support the Individualized Education Program, so that the student may benefit from and participate in his education. And as therapists, we are always seeking out the most effective means of doing so! Integrating services into the classroom itself is one way of achieving valid change with our students. All students and staff benefit with successful integration, and the carry-over of strategies can greatly multiply treatment minutes for our students. But "pushing in" to the classroom has its challenges as well. This is the first post in our series about integration,what it is, why and how to do it, and overcoming the obstacles to achieve our own goals as therapists.

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