Maximizing Push-In Therapies For All Students

The push-in model of therapy, or having therapists work on specific goals for students with disabilities within the context of the general education curriculum and peers, is a popular method to support inclusion in schools. Many schools employ this method to some degree, and teachers and therapists, at best, are able to collaborate in order to support development across domains.

Sometimes, push-in therapies can look very obvious, and could possibly lead to singling students out among their peers.  However, other educators and therapists know that all students can benefit from an additional expert in the room, and come up with creative ways to maximize the impact a therapist could have on the classroom at large.

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Click here to watch the full video.

Here is a particular example of such collaboration. This short digital story showcases how the professional tasked with providing push-in speech therapy services in a Pre-K class leads a show and tell circle once a week. All students participate once a month, and the therapist and the teacher worked together to ensure that both individual and grade-level goals are being addressed via this engaging activity. Visuals, pre-teaching and priming, and differentiating questions help to make this an accessible activity for all students. Additionally, since the children are still young, parents are also involved with helping children choose their items to share, which are often connected to a relevant theme, skill, or content piece.

Looping parents in to this activity also can increase knowledge and buy-in for concrete inclusion strategies, such as this one. In the end, children are working on important social, emotional, language, and cognitive skills in a way that feels fun and engaging.

As you finish the school year and begin to think about service delivery models and requests for next year, consider how you can leverage push-in therapy times to something even more beneficial than the sum of its parts.

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