If you are a school-based OT or OT Assistant, or think you may someday work in the school-based OT setting, there is a book you NEED to know about!
It’s called The Occupational Therapist’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices.
The Occupational Therapist’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices has transformed the way I think about my school-based practice. If I could only recommend one book on school-based occupational therapy, this would be the one! This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (see my full disclosure here). I was provided a free copy of this book by Brookes Publishing Company, however, I am not being paid to write this post and I was not required to write a review in exchange for the book, so everything I’m about to tell you about this book is coming from ME and me alone.
The OT’s Handbook does a stellar job at defining technical terms, policies, and acronyms related to Special Education, detailing the vast role that occupational therapists play within the educational setting, and sharing specific strategies, accommodations/modifications, and services that occupational therapy practitioners can provide to support students’ needs and educational progress in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
This is a perfect resource for new practitioners and fieldwork students, as well as for veterans who are looking to bring some fresh ideas into their career. The combination of facts and creative ideas makes this a refreshing read for anyone looking to boost their effectiveness as a school-based OT practitioner. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how practical and empowering this book is!
I have thoroughly appreciated the content throughout this book. I advocated that my company purchase it to use as part of our Level II OT Student Fieldwork Education Program, and I also utilized information from this book when preparing to speak at the recent 2015 California School OT Conference. In fact, I not only referenced the book, I also physically brought it with me to the conference so I could introduce it to those attending the conference and include it on my display table, along with other helpful OT treatment tools such as the Handee Band (read my review of Handee Band), gross motor cards from Super Duper, Yoga Pretzels cards, and my popsicle sticks for movement and focus in the classroom.
As a school-based occupational therapist, I appreciated the fact that this book addresses the ongoing issue of caseload vs. workload, and advocates for a shift to a “workload” mindset (accounting for all the work that goes into the job in addition to time spent working directly with students on our caseload), so occupational therapy practitioners are empowered to support students and their teachers along a TRUE continuum of services. The field of Occupational Therapy possesses such powerful tools and strategies to offer students, teachers, and educational staff, and we need to be integrated into the bigger picture. This book introduces readers to how to do just that. What a practical way to be a part of AOTA’s 2017 Centennial Vision!
The Occupational Therapist’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices can be found on Amazon by clicking on the image below:
Title: The Occupational Therapist’s Handbook for Inclusive School Practices
Authors: Julie Causton & Chelsea P. Tracy-Bronson
Forewords by: Norman Kunc & Jane Case-Smith
Year of Publication: 2014
Publishing Company: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
Number of Pages: 159 (including Appendix, References, and Index)
Number of Chapters: 9
Chapter Titles: 1) The Occupational Therapist, 2) Special Education, 3) Inclusive Education, 4) Collaborating with Others: Working within a Team, 5) Rethinking Students: Presuming Competence, 6) Providing Social Supports: Standing Back, 7) Providing Academic Supports, 8) Providing Behavioral Supports, 9) Supporting You, Supporting Them: Caring for Yourself
Brookes Publishing Company has also published books like this for other professionals who work within the school-based setting. So if you work in the schools but are not an OT, there’s a resource for you, too! Keep in mind I haven’t read these other books for myself, so you will have to do your own investigating as to whether they will be useful for you. Click on the images below to learn more about each additional resource for school-based professionals: