Tips for Effective Intervention

The focus of services is on enabling effective school progress given the disability. When considering and providing intervention, remember that the occupational therapist may work with the student, teacher, parent, other team members (not just the student). They all have information to share and need input when determining a student’s occupational performance needs.


The child, parent and teacher as clients is consistent with the Occupational Therapy Practice Frameworks, and with IDEA which specifies that special education and related services can be provided 3 ways:


1.  To the child

2.  On behalf of the child: to parents or teachers to help them to more effectively work with the child

3.  Through program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child (i.e. specific training to teachers regarding a child can be counted as IEP time.




~Involve the student, teacher and parent~


~Address the right thing at the right time~

Consider what is most important to the student, teacher, parent and what may potentially have the biggest impact on the student, teacher, parent


~Try the easiest/simplest thing first~

Do everything you can to help the student now


~Individualize interventions~

Avoid generic lists of strategies or accommodations


~Try 1 or 2 things at a time~

Assess effectiveness and modify, change or add


Intervention occurs:


At the environmental level (change the context or environment)

Provide alternatives for overwhelming environments
Change the lighting
Rearrange the classroom to reduce distractions

At the activity level (change the task or materials)

Reduce the steps/complexity/time needed to complete an activity
Change (increase or decrease) the sensory demands of an activity
Reduce amount of information presented on worksheets

At the client level (change the student, teacher, parent)

Use of a weighted vest
Improve fine motor skills
Educate teacher/parent on sensory defensiveness and sensory diet


How many schools do you cover?

one - 9.7%
two - 32.3%
three - 25.8%
four - 12.9%
five or more - 19.4%

Total votes: 31
The voting for this poll has ended on: November 17, 2013

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