Why Co-Treating is Top-Notch

I might be a little biased on this topic.  In my opinion, co-treating is top-notch!  I work with students that are in general education classrooms.  I also work with students that receive occupational therapy services in addition to speech-language therapy as well as other educational supports.  Meeting student needs, especially for those students that have varied and unique offerings calls for a non-traditional approach.


Co-treatment sessions are when two therapists from different disciplines work together to maximize therapeutic goals and progress.  When the therapists share similar goals this type of treatment can be very appropriate.  In my experience, co-treating with the occupational therapist (OT) can ben extremely beneficial for students with social-pragmatic as well as sensory needs.  The need to explicitly instruct these students regarding strategies to aid progress within the general education setting is far more effective when coming from two therapeutic angles in the same session.

This year, I have once again been afforded the opportunity to co-treat with our school OT.  This venture was not an overnight idea.  It took hours of collaborating on the possibility alone and many more figuring out potential students as well as scheduling needs.  A little flexibility, a strong desire to make it work, and a plan developed at the beginning of the school year led us to the reality of co-treating.

A semester has come and gone.  Our OT/Speech groups are more successful than I could have imagined.  I'm not only talking about the student benefits which are plentiful, but the therapist benefits as well.  My new OT colleague/friend and I are as different as they come, which often makes us chuckle before and after sessions.  However, the knowledge I have gained from her and the ways in which I approach therapy during those sessions is not only as an SLP, but also as an advocate for occupational therapy supports.

When you are faced with a challenging set of student abilities and the student receives occupational therapy services in addition to your SLP expertise, take a chance at co-treating.  This top-notch service delivery has benefits far beyond expectations.

I hope to share more reasons as well as details about my co-treating experiences.  Do you co-treat? I'd love to hear your opinion.




2 comments

  1. Co-treating is truly a special opportunity. I wish scheduling allowed me to do more of it. I can only imagine what you and your OT friend are able to offer your students. They are lucky!

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  2. I have co-treated with an OT in the past and LOVED it. I wish I had the opportunity to do it now. I learned so much from that experience.

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