Title

Collaborative Approach to School-Based Occupational Therapy Sensorimotor Programs

Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Occupational Therapy

Department or Program

Occupational Therapy

Department or Program Chair

Ruth Ramsey, Ed.D., OTR/L

First Reader

Laura Greiss Hess, Ph.D., OTR/L

Second Reader

Joanne Figone, M.A., OTR/L

Abstract

In the past decade, the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Intellectual Disabilities (ID) has increased. Sensory processing is an area of need for individuals with ASD and ID that requires specialized interventions. In best practices, an interdisciplinary team consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, board certified behavior analyst, and special education teacher, delivers these services. There has been limited research examining interdisciplinary collaboration between professionals on the team. The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the interdisciplinary team practices at a special education center. This research employed qualitative methods. Results informed a conceptual practice model for highly intentional collaboration. The model depicts sensory needs of individual students and sensorimotor programming for the classroom as a priority for the interdisciplinary team. Final themes from the analysis essential to collaboration were: taking action, communicating, addressing barriers, reinforcing team values and understanding interdisciplinary roles.

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