Kelly McLendon, M.S., CCC-SLP, a lead SLP in one of our districts reminds us that not all sessions need to be about data, some can be fun while still targeting…
Mary Adolf, M.S, OTR/L talks about the song she co-created to help teach students about descender letters, the letters that "go below" the main body of the letter.
I had the opportunity to see Jenny Mills, M. ED speak last week at the Eastern PA Special Education conference. Her topic was one that’s been gaining a lot of…
In our previous post we looked at a classroom through an occupational therapist's point of view. In our second post, we will look at the classroom through a new set of eyes - in this case, the speech and language therapist! Speech and language pathologists work to support children who are experiencing difficulties with communication. The areas that a speech and language pathologist may address include: articulation, language, voice, fluency, and swallowing. Per the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), children with a speech and/or language impairment may struggle with participating in classroom activities, interacting with others, developing literacy, and learning.
Education is a complicated task, and it can take a team of professionals to help some of our students succeed, particularly when they are working to overcome learning challenges. But all students can benefit when the classroom is examined through the eyes of a developmental expert, including speech language therapists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. In this series of posts, we bring a few different sets of eyes to the classroom, and hope that this "x-ray" will help therapists recognize and take ownership of their specialized knowledge, as well as inform teachers about the potential benefits of partnering with their school-based related service professionals!The Classroom Through an OT's Eyes
Happy Holidays! For some parents, choosing gifts for their children can be an overwhelming challenge! As occupational therapists, we know that play is the primary work of children and an…
As we all know, engineering change in our students in the confines of 30 minutes a week can be an uphill battle! How can we share our knowledge and achieve…
In the United States, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday on the month, and is celebrated with family gatherings, traditions, and giving thanks. This national holiday is a terrific way…
As we return to school, everyone starts feeling the stress. Students, parents, teachers, and therapists, all experience the seemingly abrupt transition from summer fun to the classroom. But there are ways to manage the stress and ease the back to school pains!
What Are Natural Environments?
In Early Intervention, "natural environments" are emphasized as the primary and most desired setting for therapeutic and educational services, and are included in the legislation mandating EI services (Part C of IDEA). In the school system, "least restrictive environment" is a related concept, though not as intuitively understood. However, both concepts emphasize participation in typical settings, or those that non-disabled peers access. Examples of natural settings in the schools might look like:
A speech therapist supporting literacy instruction at the elementary level, a social studies group project in middle school, or interview practice in the high school.
An occupational therapist supporting writing centers at the elementary level, a cooking task in home economics in middle school, or a driver's education course in high school.
A physical therapist supporting recess participation in the elementary school, participation in team sports in middle school, or accessing community and vocational environments at the high school level.
How To Incorporate Natural Environments Into Practice