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LIVE WEBINAR: Why Are My Treatment Sessions Not Going as Planned? Understanding, Analyzing and Prioritizing Treatment of the Intensive Needs Student: An OT and PT Perspective

Melissa Gerber, OTD, OTR/L & Josephine Bardabelias, PT

Tuesday – December 1, 2020
8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Early $225.00* | Regular $250.00 

*Early registration must be received 14 days prior to webinar (November 17, 2020). 

Strategies to Plan and Initiate Activities for Your Most Challenging Students

Are your treatment sessions not going as planned? Do you find yourself dealing with behavior rather than working on student goals?  Many of us have experienced the growing trend of students with intensive needs remaining in their home districts, in the least restrictive environment. They often have significant behaviors, language difficulties and cognitive deficits in addition to sensorimotor issues. They have diagnoses of autism, Down syndrome and various intellectual disabilities including students with mental health conditions.  Many can also be described as multiply disabled.

As school-based therapists, we need to better identify and understand the needs of these students.  This will allow us to plan appropriate outcomes and effective treatment sessions, along with understanding what progress looks like for this population.

This course will help therapists better plan a practical continuum of treatment. The course will address where to begin, how to prioritize treatment, and how to progress. Participants will gain an understanding of realistic expectations for this population, what to do if treatment does not work, how to deal with behavioral challenges within our session as well as how to approach the child that has difficulty focusing and following directions.  Strategies to manage meltdowns and children who are non-verbal will be included.  In addition , the impact of Covid 19 on our treatment sessions will also be discussed.

This course is specifically designed for the school based therapist in the public school setting.  Through the use of videos, case studies, breakout sessions we will help enrich and foster a creative mindset for working with this population.

The materials in this course are not geared toward the treatment of medically fragile and non-ambulatory students.


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Learning Objectives
Participants completing this course will be able to:

  • Learn an organized and systematic approach to treatment of this challenging population that will help you to improve your treatment outcomes.


  • Learn what is driving interfering behaviors from a sensory-motor perspective.


  • Understand why your students act or react the way they do, and thereby reduce your own frustration when treating this population.

Target Audience


Course Level 

All levels


Melissa Gerber, OTD, OTR/L

Melissa Gerber  is a school based occupational therapist for the past 18 years. She began her career at NYU Medical Center-Rusk Institute, where she rotated through adult and pediatric programs. She is the president of 4MYKIDSOT, a private practice conducting preschool and early intervention evaluations and treatment.

Josephine Bardabelias, PT 

Josephine Bardabelias has over 30 years of experience including supervisory roles working in a variety of settings, with a focus in pediatrics. Throughout her career she has treated children in acute care, N.I.C.U., early intervention, private care, and school-based facilities.

Course Schedule

8:00 am – 3:00 pm

8:00-8:30 am  –  Introduction Video Case Study (video or description) of an intensive needs student

8:30-9:00 am   –  General School Based Therapist Frustrations

Trends and Burnout
COVID 19 Impact on Treatment
MASLACH- Burnout inventory
Realistic Expectations
Planning the optimal session

9:00-10:00 am – Understanding your student and how they may interpret their environment


10:00-10:30 am – Ways to adapt your treatment/Break out session with
Case study

10:30-10:45 am – Break

10:45-12:00 pm – Set Expectations
Give them the language
Behavior Chart Ideas
Kinesthetic Sense
Treatment Ideas

12:00-12:45 pm – LUNCH

12:45-3:00 pm – Dealing with disruptive behaviors

What do certain behaviors tell us?
What NOT to do!


Educational Credits

6 contact hours

Approved for 6 contact hours by NYSED’s State Board for PT.

Application has been made to NJBPTE for CE credit approval.

color web&pptTSI is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures. Approved by AOTA for .6 CEUs. 6 contact hours, Intermediate Level, Domain of OT: Client Factors.