May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and Speech Language Literacy Lab has organized this blog hop with multiple professionals to discuss RTI.
Being a physical therapy provider in the school district does not always provide the opportunity to become involved in Response to Intervention (RTI). We were lucky enough to be involved in with a school district that allowed us to get involved to help address the motor needs of children at the pre-school level. We were finding that there were a lot of referrals to physical therapy because some kiddos were not at the same gross motor level as their peers. While a lot of the teachers implemented gross motor time, they often felt unsure if what they were offering was optimal for the kids they had in their class. We were able to go in and support them with gross motor groups in the classroom, where the teacher is actively involved and can ask questions about why we are doing different activities, how they can carry those activities over, what else we would recommend for common challenges they were noticing with their kids, and it allowed us to have eyes on all the kids and offer suggestions to the classroom as a whole if we noticed certain skills were at various levels of mastery for the kids.
What has been great with this is the teachers are feeling empowered and supported when they do motor groups every other day of the week that we are not there. They also have a person to talk to for their questions about motor development and if something is concerning or not. Most importantly it opens a line of communication between the teachers and us as the physical therapists. My experience in the school system has been that if a service provider and the teacher and teaching staff can have great lines of communication, the children benefit even more.
Besides these benefits as a therapist and teacher, the students get one extra set of eyes on them as they move through a period of time in their life that is ripe with gross motor development. At that age, play is where they do their learning and interacting with their peers that sets them up for each successive school year. While it may not look important whether or not a kiddo is able to keep up with his peers in play, it is a critical part of each child’s development and by implementing structured motor groups, we are setting the teachers and the students up for success.
On a different note, in terms of actual physical therapy services provided for kids, we have found that it has cut down on the number of referrals that were occurring just because the teachers weren’t sure how to help the child. For children like this we were finding that some education to the teaching staff on how to best support the child would make the difference and they were able to continue to progress with their peers. The motor group allows us to be proactive in providing teaching staff this support so that the children benefit sooner!
Please be sure to check out the other blogs that have participated in the Blog Hop on RTI for May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month:
Here is The Schedule (Links may take you to the author’s site as opposed to directly to their blog since this post is being published at the beginning of the month):
5/1/2015 Kick Off to Better Hearing and Speech Month!
5/2/2015 RTI for the R sound! Badger State Speechy
5/3/2015 Response to Intervention in High School– A Journey from Abject Frustration to Collaboration and Student Success Stephen Charlton Guest blogs on Speech Language Literacy Lab
5/4/2015 Technology and RTI Building Successful Lives Speech & Language
5/5/2015 Starfish Therapies
5/6/2015 Orton Gillingham Approach & RTI Orton Gillingham Online Academy
5/7/2015 Evidenced-based writing that works for RTI & SPED SQWrite
5/8/2015 RTI/MTSS/SBLT…OMG! Let’s Talk! with Whitneyslp
5/9/2015 RtI, but why? Attitudes are everything! Crazy Speech World
5/10/2015 Consonantly Speaking
5/11/2015 Universal benchmarking for language to guide the RTI process in Pre-K and Kindergarten Speech Language Literacy Lab
5/12/2015 Movement Breaks in the Classroom (Brain Breaks) Your Therapy Source
5/13/2015 How to Write a Social Story Blue Mango LLC
5/14/2015 Some Ideas on Objective Language Therapy Language Fix
5/15/2015 Assistive Technology in the Classroom OTMommy Needs Her Coffee
5/16/2015 Effective Tiered Early Literacy Instruction for Spanish-Speakers Bilingual Solutions Guest blog on Speech Language Literacy Lab
5/17/2015 Helping with Attention and Focus in the Classroom The Pocket OT
5/18/2015 Vocabulary Instruction Smart Speech Therapy, LLC
5/19/2015 An SLP’s Role in RtI: My Story Communication Station: Speech Therapy, PLLC
5/20/2015 Incorporating Motor Skills into Literacy Centers MissJaimeOT
5/21/2015 The QUAD Profile: A Language Checklist The Speech Dudes
5/22/2015 Resources on Culturally Relevant Interventions Tier 1 Educational Coaching and Consulting
5/23/2015 Language Goals Galore: Converting Real Pictures to Coloring Pages Really Color guest blog on Speech Language Literacy Lab
5/24/2015 Lesson Pix: The Newest Must-Have Resource in your Tx Toolbox Speech Language Literacy Lab
5/25/2015 AAC & core vocabulary instruction Kidz Learn Language
5/26/2015 An RtI Alternative Old School Speech
5/27/2015 Intensive Service Delivery Model for Pre-Schoolers Speech Sprouts
5/28/2015 RTI Success with Spanish-speakers Speech is Beautiful
5/30/2015 The Importance of Social Language (pragmatic) Skills guest post on Speech Sprouts
5/31/2015 Sarah Warchol guest posts on Speech Language Literacy Lab