Have you ever considered developing a specific curriculum for pediatric occupational, physical or speech therapy? If you are a new therapist to an educational delivery model of therapy you may not be familiar with curriculum in the school systems. By definition, curriculum refers to the lessons and materials that students will interact with to reach educational goals. Most elementary and high schools follow a specific curriculum for each subject. So this brings me back to the original question - have you ever considered developing curriculum for occupational, physical or speech therapy? This can be a daunting project that will take many hours of research and development. But if you work in a district, where you are able to push into the classrooms having a curriculum in place may be very beneficial.
Ready to take on the task? Here are some steps you need to take to develop a curriculum in your school.
Step 1: Identify areas of need. What problems are arising in the classrooms? What do teachers find students need the most help with? Basically what is the purpose of the curriculum? Are teachers willing to collaborate?
Step 2: Determine what the students needs are. I realize we have to go by each student's IEP but is there an overall pattern of deficits for the students on your caseload?
Step 3: Establish measurable goals and specific objectives. This does not mean IEP goals. How will you assess the skills of the students following the curriculum?
Step 4: Determine what educational strategies you will use. What will the teaching approach be?
Step 5: How will you implement the curriculum? What staff will you need?
Step 6: How will you complete a meaninghful evaluation of the curriculum?
Not up for the task, or if you need a starting point, you may find the Coleman Curriculum for School Based Occupational Therapy by Thomas Coleman, OTR helpful. This electronic document is a curriculum for occupational therapy in the schools from Kindergarten through Third Grade. Skills are discussed, examined and explained for everyone to understand. You can find out more about this ebook here http://yourtherapysource.com/coleman.html.