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Ease Back-to-School Stress: 2 Quick Tips for January 2nd

Tomorrow is the day many schools return to session after a winter break. For some time, many have been able to spend time thinking about thoughts that please them rather than the workload at hand. Nevertheless, tomorrow is the day that must be conquered. With two small gestures, January 2nd does not have to be a doomsday experience.


PREPARE FOR THERAPY

The schedule has been determined for some time. Today, take a look at the scheduled groups. Can anything be done to make them smaller? Split the session but see each smaller or individual group for a 15-minute session. Add another 15 minutes somewhere else. Evidence-based practice suggests that small time increments with more frequency are as effective as one less frequent, more extended session.


Next, plan to take baselines all week. Plan this week to be dedicated to progress monitoring. It is also the week to review IEP goals and objectives. Have clients met their objectives and perhaps need an added goal or objective? Have a precursor skill set holding up progress? It may be time to address the lack of progress in the designated objectives and acknowledge the necessary skill set hindering progress.


 If the schedules are off, plan to observe in the classroom for upcoming evaluations. Write an alternate schedule for snow days, early dismissals, or delayed starts. Inform colleagues of the plans. There will be no surprises, and the remainder of the staff will be informed of therapy plans.



PREPARE FOR "IEP SEASON"

Depending on the school district, an estimated 20 or more weeks remain in the 2023-24 school year. Today. Yes. Today. Counting the number of weeks remaining in the school year and then the number of IEPs and evaluations to be completed. Divide the number of weeks by the number of IEPs to be written, then divide the number of weeks by the evaluations to be written. Those two numbers will determine the number of IEPs and the number of evaluations to be written weekly. Writing two IEPs weekly is much easier than writing ten at a time.


Dividing the work this way makes the numbers more manageable, the IEPs more individualized, and, most importantly, spring break is not spent writing 20 IEPs. The argument against writing IEPs is that the progress numbers may change between the time of writing and the meeting. It is suggested to use highlighting and (************* )a string of these fun shapes to remind us that progress percentages need to be verified before printing the IEP. 


When a speech pathologist takes time with an IEP, her therapy is better, more targeted, and works to help the parent agree with their child's treatment. 


RIGHT NOW

  1.  Look at the scheduled groups and plan for baseline treatment. (note your materials to speed up your session planning)

  2. Count the weeks in the remaining school year and the number of IEPs and Evaluations pending. 

THEN

  1. Pack tomorrow's lunch.

  2. Pick out tomorrow's clothes.

  3. Read the last of that book.

  4. Have a great day tomorrow!


Thanks for reading,

Susan




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