Completing comprehensive assessments is a significant part of your role as a school-based occupational therapist. Unfortunately, the rapid transition from in-school to online services this school year put a pause on those assessments. But as we all know, assessments are part of the essential support services your students are entitled to receive, and these services cannot wait.
This summer is an ideal time to reconsider how we can continue to provide high-quality school-based OT assessments, even during a pandemic. Therefore, we’d like to spotlight an assessment tool called Schoodles that can be used during a virtual school-based OT assessment.
A Fine Motor Skills Assessment Tool for School OTs
Schoodles is a criterion-referenced, performance-based assessment tool that evaluates students’ fine motor skills. This assessment was developed by occupational therapists Monica Fortunato and Marie Frank. Monica has been a valued member of the OT team at Cross Country Education for 7 years! Schoodles has been used by occupational therapists around the world for 15 years in school and clinic-based settings, including by our Cross Country Education OT team. Schoodles can be used for children 3 years and older and takes about 30-45 minutes to complete.
Schoodles for Virtual OT Assessments
Schoodles has recently added new tools to the website to assist you with completing virtual assessments. These updates include instructional videos on how to demonstrate assessment tasks, such as in-hand manipulation, for students. Schoodles also added online fillable forms including a teacher interview, clinical observations and an age chart. Additionally, you’ll find an online puzzle, tips for working with E-helpers, and downloadable forms that can be easily emailed or printed.
Schoodles for Face-to-Face OT Assessments
Schoodles is great for completing in-person assessments as well. The workbook pages are ideal for assessing cutting and coloring and for collecting handwriting samples. The assessments can be completed with minimal materials such as pencil, scissors, crayons, pennies, and a deck of cards.
Be sure to visit and bookmark Schoodles.com. And don’t forget to include this incredibly useful tool as you and your OT teammates develop a plan to complete thorough school-based OT assessments virtually.
Evolving School OT Services
Because of recent developments, the way we deliver school occupational therapy services is changing, and it’s critical that we all rethink our approach. Use the summertime to develop a virtual OT plan, strengthen your online skills, engage in occupational therapy continuing education opportunities, and while you’re at it, consider traveling as a school-based OT to bring your specialized services to kids who need you most!