4 Ways MT/SLP/OT Collaboration Better Serves Clients

Healthcare has undergone a radical change in the past few decades. In the past, healthcare was based on the disease-model. Treating the disease or disorder was the primary focus of all healthcare professionals. However, as competition has increased in the healthcare market, we've found that the patient-centered model is more desirable for patients, and may even improve health outcomes.

A byproduct of this new model is the mutli-disciplinary team approach. In this model, we have a team of healthcare and allied healthcare professionals, ranging from primary care physicians to case workers and disability-advocates working, communicating, and collaborating together to address the specific needs of a patient. This differs from an inter-disciplinary approach, in which a patient has a team of healthcare professionals working with them, however there is a lack communication and collaboration between team members.

Yesterday, I presented at the American Music Therapy Association - Southeastern Regional conference on this topic. More on that next week.

As you can imagine, the multi-disciplinary approach is favorable to an inter-disciplinary approach. And it's precisely for this reason why places like Cobblestone Therapy Group exist.

As you might be aware, The George Center for Music Therapy has a partnership with Cobblestone Therapy. We share clinic space and resources, and collaborate on the goals and treatment of shared clients. This set-up allows to better serve our clients, and I want to highlight four ways in particular that Cobblestone and George Center clients receive better care as a result of this partnership.

 

1. Collaboration on goals

When we have occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and music therapists working together with one client under one roof, each team member communicates with the others about goals and objectives for that client. I can't tell you how often Heather, Alyssa, or Jill come to me and tell me what one of my clients is working on in speech or OT. They give me some pointers on how I can effectively address that goal. Similarly, I'm able to communicate with them some creative approaches that motivate our client, so that they may more effectively work their magic in speech and OT.

 

2. Communicating generalization of skills

Therapy for developmental disorders is all about moving towards independence.  The ultimate goal of what any of us do is helping that child live as independently as possible. Central to that goal is the generalization and transfer of skills.

Many times, a child will master a skill in school or therapy, only to have those skills disappear in a new environment (such as the home or classroom). The more we can do to reinforce these skills across environments, the better off that child is.

When our team sees a child across multiple days in the week, in different environments and with different therapists, we can communicate whether or not the skills learned in speech are showing up in music or occupational therapy and vice versa. If they aren't, we can pinpoint the problem and help ensure that these skills are practiced in multiple settings.

 

3. Convenience for parents

Being a parent is a lot of work. Being a parent of a child with special needs can feel like an impossible task at times. Balancing all the therapies, schooling, and doctors appointments is a full-time job. Anything we can do to make that process easier provides tremendous value for our clients.

So when a parent can take care of their music therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy under one roof, this is a huge benefit for them. Less trips to therapists, less offices to deal with.

 

4. Familiarity and routine for children

Routine plays a big role for children with autism. A consistency in day-to-day activities can calm and support children on the spectrum. By housing multiple therapies in one location, we feel a certain level of routine and comfort is offered to our clients. Familiar environment, and familiar faces.

 

We love our partnership with Cobblestone, but even more than that, we love of the superior level of service we're able to offer our clients as a result of that partnership.

We're currently accepting new clients, but spots are filling fast! Contact us today to get on the schedule!