Preparing to Transition Therapy Caseloads: Tips for Related Service Providers

Categories: OT Perspective
As the end of the school year approaches, we need to prepare for the changes that lie ahead.  As students move to new classrooms, they may not only have a new teacher but also new related service providers.  As an OT, I start thinking now about important information to share with the new therapy team.  By organizing this information, I can help set the new team up for success when the fall comes around.  Today, let’s talk about some considerations for related service providers as we prepare to transition students to a new therapy team.

Compile a list of materials and equipment

Some students benefit from specific materials and equipment.  It is important to list this all out so the new team can ensure it is available as the student transitions.  Some examples of equipment include (but are not limited to!):

  • Flexible seating options
  • Specific fidgets
  • Adapted scissors
  • Writing supports such as pencil grips, slant board or adapted paper
  • Sensory equipment: weighted items, crash pad, tactile bins
  • AAC device or communication supports

Compile a list of important information and strategies

Every team gets to know students at the beginning of the year and things can certainly change over the summer.  However, I find it important to compile a list of strategies and information that were successful and helpful this school year as a starting framework for the new team.  Examples may include:

  • Precautions and allergy information
  • How the student best communicates
  • Activities or materials that increase engagement and align to the student learning style
  • Hand dominance
  • Safety considerations
  • Behavioral considerations and supports
  • Interests and motivators

Visual Supports and Preparation

I find it helpful to share visual supports that the student utilized on a consistent basis in the classroom, as many general ones. can be transferred easily to a new classroom team.  Additionally, any additional preparation for the student who is transitioning can be helpful.  This may include:

  • First/then or Visual Schedules
  • Sensory choice board
  • Arrival/Departure/Bathroom routines
  • Visual expectations for different times of the school day
  • Social story preparing for change
  • Plan for a classroom visit and staff meet/greet prior to school year starting if possible

Parent Connection

The parent and family connection is an important piece to consider when transitioning to a new therapy team.  I like to ensure that I make contact with every family at the beginning of the school year by sending home a short letter introduction myself or an email.  As a related service provider, if you can attend the classroom open house or teacher meet and greet at the beginning of the year, that’s another great way to connect with families before school starts.  Making connections and setting up a plan for communication throughout the school year is super helpful so everyone is on the same page!


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