Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New School Year, New Goals, New Opportunities

As many of you return to work or have started already, here are some tips for the upcoming school year:

1.  Support your students - Whether the student's goal is a lofty one or a easy goal support the student 100% to achieve the goal.  Maybe it is something the student really wants to achieve.  Or perhaps a teacher feels it will benefit the student.  Whatever it may be, if you do not believe that the student can achieve it he/she probably will not.  Make it your goal to help them achieve their goals. 

2.  Be patient - Students learn at different paces.  Make sure you give them time to respond.  Whether it be to complete a functional task like dressing or to take a step allow them to initiate all movements or steps possible before you provide verbal or physical cues. 

3.  Model Appropriately - If you want students to perform a certain task a certain way try to model that task for them.  If you can not model the skill see if you can get a peer or a video to demonstrate for the student.

4.  Remember the goals - It can be hard to stay focused on a few goals when a student exhibits many needs.  But, by focusing on certain skills you can provide more assistance in areas that the student, teacher and parents have indicated to be important.  Therapists frequently catch glimpses of a student's daily routine so we need to rely on others to help to set the proper goals.

5.  Ask for help -  To repeat the sentiments in number 4, therapists catch a glimpse of a students day.  Ask questions to the student, the teachers and the parents.  The more informed you are regarding a student the more you can offer your expertise. 

Care to add any more tips to the list?

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