Session Description

This Specialty Conference has been completed. For future AOTA conferences please visit the Conferences & Events page. Click here to access your CE Transcript.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

3:00PM – 6:30PM  

Thera "play" Everyday! How Your Playground is a Natural OT Fit!

Departure from Minneapolis Hilton
Registration Fee: $75
Earn 3 contact hours.

Lucy Jane Miller, PhD, OTR; STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center; Greenwood Village, CO
Ingrid M. Kanics, MOT, OTR/L; Kanics Inclusive Design Services LLC; New Castle, PA 
Diana A Henry, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA; Henry OT Services, Inc., Flagstaff, AZ

Join us for a fun afternoon exploring a variety of playgrounds designed for children ranging in age from toddler to upper elementary. We will explore how each playground offers a unique way to assess neurodevelopmental, sensory, and social participation needs of children. Transitioning assessment to treatment that adheres to the mandate of the IDEA (using natural settings) to move intervention outside to a playground setting and inside to the cafeteria, the library, the bus rides etc. will be emphasized. We will invite activity analyses by participants on the playgrounds, including pros and cons of their designs. Participants are encouraged to bring photos of their own playgrounds and time will be allowed for participants to work in small groups discussing their own needs. Priorities for change (opportunities for growth) on each playground brought by a participant will be discussed. Round trip bus transportation from the Minneapolis Hilton and dinner will be provided by Landscape Structures.

7:00PM - 9:00PM  

Come kick off the schools specialty conference with cake and celebration! We will begin by acknowledging the accomplishments of 20 years of the Early Intervention School System Special Interest Section (EISSIS).  Then we will have opportunities to discuss and explore today’s changing service delivery climate.  With the need to move beyond 1:1 services, respond to whole-school approaches and other initiatives and changing trends, school-based practitioners need to respond to the diverse needs of children and youth in innovative ways.  We will review the many AOTA school based resources and explore opportunities to get involved. This session will identify action steps so practitioners can advance their leadership in this exciting and challenging time.

Yvonne Swinth, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
Sandra Schefkind, MS, OTR/L; American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD

Friday, July 26, 2013
8:00AM-8:45AM: Keynote  

Keynote: Beyond Classification

LeDerick R. Horne, Advocate, Poet, and Entrepreneur, Somerset, NJ

This keynote presentation provides strategies for increasing the academic performance, self-determination, and self-advocacy skills of students with disabilities. As an entrepreneur and performance poet with a learning disability who has worked as an advocate on the national, state and local level, LeDerick Horne provides a unique prospective on education reform and issues related to creating a more equitable society.

This emotionally stirring talk is filled with moving verses and empowering information that will prepare the audience to challenge stereotypes, rethink pedagogy and improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Horne L

Session Sponsored by:

9:00AM-10:30AM (Choose ONE)  

Concurrent #1: Promoting Partnerships on School-Based Teams

Barbara Hanft MA, OTR/L, FAOTA; Developmental Consultant, Kill Devil Hills, NC

Through leading and participating on various school-based teams, occupational therapists form partnerships with education colleagues and families. These partnerships allow them to ensure that all children learn and interact with their typically developing peers to the maximum extent possible in both instructional lessons and non-instructional activities. This presentation will highlight the best practices in collaborative partnerships, with an emphasis on how team roles and interpersonal skills guide occupational therapy practitioners, and their partners, in achieving desired educational goals for children with and without disabilities.

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Concurrent #2: Effectiveness and Outcomes of Sensory-Based Strategies Across School Environments

Diana A Henry, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA; Henry OT Services, Inc., Flagstaff, AZ

We need to promote research in OT using sensory-based strategies too! This session will present case studies demonstrating the collective empowerment across school and home environments by using and recording sensory-based strategies. It will cover how to identify and quantify the impact of sensory-based strategies on occupational performance. Clinical reasoning and the (SPM) Quick Tips will be used from initial assessment through re-test, for co-developing and recording sensory-based strategies. The positive impact of evidence-based progress monitoring on supporting what school based OT practitioners do, will be highlighted.

10:45AM-12:15PM(Choose ONE)


Concurrent #3: Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, & Intervention in School Practice: A Guiding Framework for Occupational Therapy

Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH

The aim of this presentation is to provide a foundation for conceptualizing occupational therapy's role in mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention when working with all children and youth – those with and without disabilities and/or mental illness. Practical strategies for addressing the mental health needs of students at the universal (Tier 1, all children), selected (Tier 2, at-risk groups), and intensive (Tier 3, those with identified mental health concerns) levels will be described.

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Bazyk S
Concurrent #4: Using Tiered Interventions (RtI) to Support Academic & Behavioral Success of All Students

Elizabeth Wall, MS, OTR, BCP ; Jeffco Public Schools, Golden, CO
Gloria Frolek Clark, PhD, OTR/L FAOTA, BCP;
Private Practice, Adel, IA

Response to Intervention (RtI) as a model for working with students in general and special education is becoming standard practice in states and school districts throughout the country. This session will provide participants with an understanding of the history of RtI, as well as the core components and key practices. The influence of state licensure, state child find procedures and state education law on RtI will be discussed. Current research applicable to occupational therapy in the RtI process (academics, behavior and functional activities) will be shared. A variety of resources that reflect scientific-based strategies and help build the capacity of education personnel will also be provided.

Frolek Clark
12:15PM-1:45PM: Lunch on your own  
1:45PM-3:15PM (Choose ONE)  
Concurrent #5: Translating Evidence to Practice in Schools Settings

Patricia Laverdure, OTD, OTR/L, BCP; Fairfax County Public Schools, Falls Church, VA

The unique body of knowledge required of occupational therapy practitioners working in school settings is dynamic. It changes rapidly with local, state, and federal regulatory changes, the promulgation of scientific evidence, and the development of best interdisciplinary practices. Though occupational therapists embrace the importance of evidence -based practices in service delivery, challenges in analyzing scientific information and incorporating these practices into existing routines often result in gaps when translating research into practice. This session will explore planning models for developing collaborative, accessible, and dynamic evidence -based practices, knowledge translation capacities, and research-practice partnerships that sustain changes in clinical practice and improve client and program outcomes.

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Concurrent #6: Call to Action for Emerging Niche Practice Areas: OT's Role in Addressing Childhood Obesity and Supporting Mobility and Transport to School

Susan Englert Shutrump, OTR/L; Trumbull County Educational Service Center, Youngstown, OH
Simone V. Gill, PhD, OTR/L;
Boston University, Boston, MA

Childhood obesity is currently a public health epidemic. The leading cause of fatal or serious injuries for school -aged children is due to being an occupant in a motor vehicle traffic crash. Although OT's have the expertise to impact these major health concerns for children, they are not traditionally addressed in school-based therapy programs, or in conjunction with one another. The vital role of occupational therapy in promoting independence in school-related IADL skills has long been recognized by IEP teams. However, little has been done to apply this to help children with obesity in school settings or in teaching them to be safe passengers. OT's knowledge in environmental modification puts them in a unique position to provide leadership to school staff seeking to expand educational, as well as health benefits to address childhood obesity and safety in transportation. In regards to mobility concerns in childhood obesity and teaching students to be safe passengers, this session will examine the role of OT in formulating safe and less restrictive transportation and mobility plans that encompass all school environments.. Participants will leave with resources to empower them in their role in these exciting and less traditional learning environments.

3:30PM-5:00PM (Choose ONE)  

Concurrent #7: Transitions from School to Adulthood

Meira L. Orentlicher, PhD, OTR/L; Touro College, New York, NY
Doris Pierce, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

This session will focus on occupational therapy practice when working with students in middle school and high school, specifically during the preparation for transitioning to adult life. Following a review of evidence-based best practices, the presenters will suggest a blueprint for occupational therapy services, including, evaluation and service delivery with students, families, schools, and communities. Strategies for advocating for occupational therapy's involvement in transition and current funding mechanisms will also be discussed.

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Orentlicher M
D. Pierce

Concurrent #8: OT's Role in Supporting Effective Instruction and Curriculum: A Look at Literacy, UDL, and Differentiated Instruction

Gloria Frolek Clark, PhD, OTR/L FAOTA, BCP; Private Practice, Adel, IA

The general education curriculum and instruction impacts student learning and outcomes, leading school occupational therapists to work with a team to identify the resulting support and barriers created when they work with students (e.g., general education struggling learners, students receiving special education, and students eligible under Section 504). This session will explore national and state initiatives related to literacy, universal design for learning, and differentiated instruction. Resources to enhance the role of the occupational therapists within the general education classroom will be provided at the building, classroom, and student levels.

Frolek Clark
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Advancing OT involvement in School-based Natural Contexts

Catherine S. Csanyi, MA, OT; Private Consultant, Mansfield, OH

This session will examine the core beliefs of occupational therapy practitioners in school-based practice and highlights the need for occupation-based and participation driven service. A paradigm shift from a traditional, segregated delivery of OT services in schools to an integrative, inclusive, and student driven service approach is paramount. Reflective questions include: How do students learn best? How does data from formative and performance assessment drive service? What is the role of occupational therapy in promoting academic achievement and social participation? The Ohio Department of Education is supporting the study of school occupational therapy practices to improve student outcomes and is partnering with universities such as EKU and Cleveland State University, as well as the Ohio OT Association and AOTA. Through these studies, the value of occupational therapy in promoting school mental health and transitions and the value of AOTA resources will be explored.

9:00AM-10:45AM (Choose ONE)  
Concurrent #9: Common Core State Standards: The Role for Occupational Therapy Practitioners

Theresa Carlson Carroll, OTD, OTR/L ; University of Illinois , Chicago, IL

This presentation will describe the history and development of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and describes the purpose of the CCSS. Application of the CCSS to students in both general education and special education will be discussed. The presentation will highlight the unique contributions that occupational therapy practitioners can provide, in order to support the implementation of the CCSS. Suggestions on how to advocate for our profession's role in promoting the CCSS will be shared, as well as a number of useful CCSS resources for school-based practitioners.

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Carroll T

Concurrent #10: Participation and Inclusion in Occupational Therapy School Practice: Research to Practice

Jean Polichino, MS, OTR, FAOTA; Harris County Department of Education, Houston, TX
Barbara Chandler, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Therapeutic Services and Design, Asheville, NC

Access to the general education curriculum is fundamental for students with disabilities. This session will provide an overview of the literature on occupational therapy services that supports student participation and inclusion in schools. The evolution of school practice (or lack thereof) to support student participation and inclusion will be examined. Necessary job knowledge and skills will also be identified. Recommendations will be made for strategies to ensure practitioners have the needed knowledge and skills to provide services that foster increased participation academically and socially, and promote successful inclusion.

11:00AM-12:30PM (Choose ONE)  
Concurrent #11: ParticipATion…is Assistive Technology Part of Your Centennial Vision?

Judith Weenink Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP ; Loudoun County Public Schools, Asburn, VA

Most people could not escape technology if they tried. Cell phones, tablets, and social media affect all aspects and contexts of everyday life including: work, leisure, self-help, and interpersonal relationships. The explosion of technology and its insinuation into everyday life has changed the way (and offers possibilities for where) students receive, interact with, and apply information. It also provides new and exciting options for people in general, but for students with disabilities, it is often a necessity. Judiciously selected Assistive Technology (AT) affords users creative solutions, which allows them greater independence and opportunities for participation at home, at school, in the workforce, in the community, and in society. Most importantly, AT changes and re-shapes attitudes about what people do and can do. With this influx of new tools, it is crucial to determine the "right tool for the job." School-based occupational therapists have the opportunity and challenge to educate themselves and others about the possibilities offered by new technologies, while not forgetting that the best solution can be the easiest and least complex.

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Schoonover J

Concurrent #12: Demonstrating the Value of School-based OT: Evidence-Driven Performance Appraisal

Lauren Holahan, MS, OTR/L; North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC
Mary Muhlenhaupt, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA;
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

Current trends in education policy specific to staff performance as a central accountability measure are reviewed, along with the implications for school-based occupational therapists. Methods for highlighting occupational therapists' contributions to student education through a performance appraisal process are explored. Across the unique and varied roles of school-based occupational therapists, best practices, desired outcomes for students, school staff members, school communities, and families are identified, along with methods for data collection on practitioner performance. Suggestions for a collaborative and meaningful performance appraisal process that results in a data-based professional development plan are outlined.

Muhlenhaupt M
12:30-2:00PM: Lunch on your own  

Town Hall: Meeting the Challenges of School-Based Practice - Strategies for Moving Forward

Dottie Handley-More, MS, OTR/L; Highline Public Schools, Burien, WA
Barbara E. Chandler, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA;
Therapeutic Services and Design, Asheville, NC

Occupational therapy practitioners working in school settings face a variety of practice challenges, from managing personnel shortages and increasing workloads, to handling shifting role expectations, and education reform initiatives. This session will provide a moderated forum for practitioners to discuss and explore how to transform workplace issues from challenges to opportunities. Strategies for implementing change and moving forward will be highlighted.

HandletMore D.
3:15PM-4:15PM: Closing Plenary  

Joanne Cashman, EdD; Project Director, The IDEA Partnership at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Alexandria, VA