SLPs and OTs: The Benefits of Co-Treatment Sessions (and Five Great Resources to Get You Started)

SLP and OT

I am lucky to work with some fantastic professionals from other fields. Some of my favorite people happen to be OTs (Occupational Therapists) and COTAs (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants).

Co-treating with OTs the school setting is so rewarding! In one case I planned a weekly, hour long push in group with the OT in a classroom of students with varying exceptionalities. We would ask the teacher for her letter of the week and reading theme and we would each plan two activities to go with that theme. We would keep in mind each other’s target goal areas by choosing activities that were both language rich and had a fine motor component.

I see SO much growth in these groups because there is opportunity for carryover!! I continue to learn so much about the OT objectives in therapy and am able to carry over many of these in my sessions during the week. My OT friends report the same with my language rich goals and tell me they find themselves encouraging students to elaborate verbally on their ideas, make requests and use their AAC devices in ways that they hadn’t thought of before.

It is both fun and productive collaborating with other professionals and learning about what they do to help our students.

Here are some of my favorite products available on TPT for co-treating with OTs to get you started with thinking about tasks to include numerous target goal areas:

Say it
This is one of my favorite resources for co-treatment because students can practice articulation words by saying the sound, writing the word, then drawing a picture of the word in the box provided. You can also have the student describe the picture to hit language targets, or have to student follow your verbal directions to draw the picture a certain way!

Mazes For Articulation
This resource is great for some of your more advanced students! Consult with your OT to see if it would be appropriate for your co-treatment group. There is also a language version that you can buy here! You start by working your way through the first maze until you reach the target picture. Practice your target word or use it in a phrase or sentence 5 times. Five boxes are provided directly under each picture for easy data collection!

Trace and Say.png

This awesome resource from Ms. Gardenia’s Speech Room incorporates fine motor and handwriting skills into phonemic awareness activities and articulation drills. SLPs, OTs and students alike love the fun and interactive nature of these activities. It really is worth investing in the bundle!

We use SO much playdoh in our co-treatment sessions! You can use playdoh for following directions activities or as a reinforcer for open ended games and activities. Sometimes the OT brings a thicker clay that is harder to work depending on the needs of her students. These awesome mats by Creating Communicators take the guesswork out of planning a playdoh based session. The children can choose items that belong with the main category to increase their vocabulary skills. As the child chooses items from the main category, they can then label each item, targeting their expressive language skills. We have smashed playdoh directly onto the mats, and sometime the OT has the students use another item such as a tongue depressor to do the smashing!

Almost any kind of craft is also great for co-treatment sessions! Cutting, gluing, tying and attaching are all prime targets for OT goals, and requesting, labeling, following directions, and sequencing are all great for our speech and language targets! You can find so many great easy craft ideas on Pinterest or you can keep it quick and simple by using these great pre-made craft ideas from Peachie Speechie! It’s great to have this bundle in your arsenal of materials for those days when you need a craft idea in a flash!

Do you co-treat with the OT or COTA at your school or clinic? Let us know what your favorite activities are!

Happy Co-Treating!


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