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What can a clinical reasoning tool do for me?



Often there are comments and concerns posted on school based Facebook groups on the topic of decision-making regarding services as part of the IEP. In my last blog post, I spoke to a process to help when there are services that seem over the top or way beyond what is necessary to support the student's benefit from specialized instruction, functional performance nd participation.. (Read "Unnecessary Services - what's a therapist to do"? )


In this post, I recommend using a clinical reasoning tool to help you navigate the service decision making waters. Ever wish you had a way to articulate the process you went through to get to your recommendation? Or what areas you addressed as part of that decision and why? And how someone else on the team is already addressing a particular area or concern? That you were sure what you were recommending was not only educationally relevant but also necessary? Then The Determination of Relevant Therapy Tool(DRTT) can help!!


The DRTT can be a valuable tool assisting school based OTs and PTs in their decision-making processes and establish a starting point for team discussion not based on emotion but on objective data. Using a systematic process of identifying OT/PT needs, educational impact, prognosis/ benefit from intervention and the intensity of needs for supplementary aids and services, the DRTT will enable you to have a confident discussion with all team members regarding your decision on services to and on behalf of your student.


In a presentation at APPTAC 2021, Melody Prinkleton and I presented on how her school district implemented the DRTT and the impact it has had on therapist confidence, job satisfaction and program consistency in service determination. The session included interviews with both OTs and PTs who spoke to the benefits of using the tool in their practice and how its use positively influenced their entire team.


The DRTT is available to all- give it a try and let me know how well it met your needs! Share with others the value of the DRTT in working with your teams. Always happy to help you navigate those tricky waters of services!


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