Many of us are familiar with co-treating, particularly in the acute setting or outpatient pediatric clinics…but have you ever heard an EI therapist referring to co-treating? If so, they were most likely practicing in what’s known as a team based model/approach.
The team based approach is a model used in some EI programs that provide the family with a team of professionals who work together. A team lead is identified as the primary partner with the family, but has ongoing coaching and support from other team members in different disciplines. The team lead is the specialist on the team with the skills & knowledge that best fit with but also makes sure the skills of other professionals are used, sometimes through co-treating.
Team members can include a variety of individuals including: OT, PT, SLP, developmental specialist, vision and hearing specialist, child psychologist, social work, service coordination, and many more. Teams typically meet regularly to ensure continued communication and encourage ongoing collaboration.
The team based approach works great for the families to have one primary person who is able to best support their needs and help them meet goals and outcomes – but it’s also great for therapists to be able to learn from each other!
What advantages can you think of in working with a team in early intervention?