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 complementary 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.
- For 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.