Co-Treating: What is it and what are the benefits for your child?

What is a Co-treatment:

Sessions conducted with 2 or more therapists from different disciplines (OT, SLP, PT, etc.) to maximize therapeutic collaboration. Co-treatments are utilized when two disciplines share complimentary or similar goals.

What are the benefits of co-treatments:

Cohesive treatment sessions and expectations across disciplines:

  • Therapists work together to create treatment plans that include goals of both disciplines. teamwork co treatingFor example, the speech therapist is working on sequencing, and the occupational therapist is working on fine motor/handwriting skills. Together they may implement a writing activity incorporating sequencing.
  • For a lot of children, it is difficult to sustain attention and an optimal arousal level needed to participate in therapy for two back to back sessions. By combining treatments, the child still receives both therapies and works towards both disciplines’ goals in a shorter amount of time.
  • This collaboration can allow for therapists to use the same strategies to encourage participation and good behavior in their individual sessions. Consistency in this area is key for a child to learn the expectations for behavior in a treatment sessions and will in the end allow for maximal benefit from therapy.

Promotes an interdisciplinary team approach:

  • An interdisciplinary team consists of various professionals from diverse fields, who work together, through combining information and resources, toward a common goal for the patient.
  • Therapists collaborate and discuss the child’s goals, treatment, and progress throughout the therapy process. Together, they consistently update plans and goals as the child grows and succeeds.
  • By working together, therapists gain a better understanding and appreciation of each other’s role in the therapeutic process.

Focuses on the “whole child”:

  • Sessions do not focus on only one area of difficulty for the child; instead it combines multiple challenging areas into one session. For example, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist work together to simultaneously treat a child with sensory processing and language difficulties through playing a language based game while incorporating sensory components (swing, movement, heavy work, etc.).
  • Therapists can work together to create treatment plans that most benefit the child.
  • Together, therapists can modify and change treatments throughout the sessions.
  • Good for generalization of skills. When a child uses a newly acquired skill with different people and in different situations, the skill will transfer into functional, everyday use.

The benefits of co-treatment are vast and endless. Together therapists can combine their expertise to learn from each other to promote their own practice and to create optimal treatment plans for the child. In order to best serve children, co-treatment should be done only when it is of benefit to the child and when the decision to do so is made collaboratively with the therapists and parents.

To find out more about co-treating options at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, contact us here: https://nspt4kids.wpengine.com/contact-us/

Love What You Read?  Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blogs Via Email! 

Positioning for Infants 101

Recent statistics show that 1 in 10 babies have plagiocephaly, or flatness to one side of their head. Since 1992 when the American Academy of baby on tummyPediatrics launched the “back to sleep” campaign, cases of SIDS have dramatically decreased. However, cases of plagiocephaly, or flat head, have increased. With babies spending so much of their day on their backs, in swings, car seats and bouncy chairs, babies aren’t given the proper tummy time to let their head naturally round out.

Positioning your infant to switch the direction that they are laying is recommended to prevent flatness to one side of their head. Simple positioning things that parents of little ones can do at home are:

Ways To position Your Infant:

  • Providing ample tummy time daily: start with just a few minutes and work your way up from there. By 5-6 months, aim for ½ of play time to be on the tummy.
  • Alternate the hip or arm where you carry your baby. This way, they have equal opportunity to look both ways and keep their neck muscles flexible.
  • Alternate the end of the crib each night where you place your baby to sleep. This way, if they are always looking at one part of the room, ie a nightlight, window or door, they will have a different part of their head that they are sleeping on each night.
  • Alternate the end of the changing table where you change your baby.
  • Limit use of carseats, swings, bouncy seats or any device where a child is “contained.” Excessive time in these “containers” can cause a flat head on one side and limit gross motor development.
  • When your child is in a car seat, a cushioned head support will help keep some pressure off the back of their head.

It is normal for your babies’ head shape to not be completely round following a vaginal delivery; however, head shapes usually round out from the pressures of delivery within the first 6 weeks of life. It is important to use the positioning techniques above to ensure that your baby has a nice round head shape as they continue to develop.

If you are concerned about your babies’ head shape, talk to a physical therapist or your pediatrician. Physical therapy can help round out your child’s skull and help with gross motor development.

 Love What You Read?  Click Here To Subscribe To Our Blogs Via Email!