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The Private Therapist and School Therapist Connection

As an Occupational Therapist working for LLA Therapy, I have had the unique opportunity to wear two hats as both an outpatient therapist and a school therapist. Doing so has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the roles that each therapist plays in the development and treatment of the children and families we work with. Each serves a purpose with some commonalities and some differences.

The Role of a School Therapist

I address areas that have an educational impact on a student. For example, handwriting is an area that is often addressed as it a large part of a student’s day and academics. Other areas addressed within the school environment include, but are not limited to fine motor skills, cutting skills, sensory processing, hand strength, sensory processing, and self-regulation. School therapists are much more limited in time they spend treating student because services are often carried out in a pull-out model where a student is removed from the classroom for individualized or small group intervention. As a result, many of the students I see receive outpatient or private therapy services as well to further develop their skills. As a school therapist, I have found that communicating with outpatient therapists is very beneficial for both myself as a professional and my students in helping them make progress and meet their goals. For example, an area I frequently address is assisting children in learning to tie their shoes. They may also be seeing an outpatient OT for additional intervention. What if this therapist is teaching them the bunny loop method of tying and I am teaching the one loop method? This would leave the student even more confused and hinder progress. Something so simple, but very important!

The Role as an Outpatient Therapist

I have the flexibility to address areas that may not be covered within the school environment such as sleep, toileting, play skills, behavior, etc. I work directly with families and have the opportunity to teach them how to carry over skills in the home environment. Due to the nature of school based therapy, therapists are often more disconnected with families and do not have the chance to communicate as frequently. Students spend a significant amount of time in the school environment allowing school therapists to collaborate with teachers and other professionals who know the student well. An outpatient therapist typically sees a student 30-60 minutes for once or twice a week which is a small snapshot of time. Connecting with school therapists has allowed me to gain and share information (ex. motivators, behavior plans, favorite toys, sensory strategies, etc.) to provide more effective and appropriate treatment for my clients.

Helping to Connect Private and School Therapy

Taking these things into consideration, I would like to empower parents to assist in this process. Oftentimes, as both a school and outpatient therapist, there is a disconnect between the two that starts with simply not knowing the other one is a part of a team serving this child. I would like to encourage parents to get to know their occupational therapist and share contact information between the two settings as doing so can help their child’s progress and development. Fellow therapists, I know we have a lot on our plates and are chronically catching up on paperwork, but please make the effort to connect with other therapists. We may be in different settings, but we share the same desire to see our kids make progress and meet their goals.

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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