Writing Present Levels of Performance: Tips for School OTs

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Cross Country Education
October 16, 2020 21:34 PM (GMT-04:00)
Writing present levels of performance (PLPs) is a large part of your role as a school-based occupational therapist. However, finding the time to write PLPs can be challenging, especially amid all of your other responsibilities as a school OT. Here is some guidance from our team of school OTs to help you write effective PLPs. Use these tips to set up a template to streamline your PLP-writing processes.

Present Levels of Performance for Occupational Therapy

Present levels of performance provide a narrative that establishes a baseline for a student’s abilities. The present level of performance for OT should provide a clear and concise picture of the student’s ability to access and benefit from their educational program as related specifically to occupational therapy performance areas. This objective and measurable data regarding the students’ current level of functioning will assist with measuring progress and establishing where to initiate or continue with therapy. 
Each PLP is aligned with a specific performance area based on identified needs from the OT assessment. This will most likely be the most significant area of need, but there can also be multiple PLPs related to OT needs if necessary. 

Performance Areas for Occupational Therapy PLPs

The most common performance areas for OT related PLPs are:
  • Sensory motor
  • Fine motor
  • Visual motor
  • Visual perceptual


Elements of Effective Occupational Therapy PLPs

An OT PLP should:
  • Be based on our expertise as OTs
  • List the student’s strengths and needs
  • Be related to observable functional tasks
  • Contain the results of standardized tests (if applicable) 
  • Include equipment necessary for the student to function at school 
An OT PLP should include comments regarding:
  • Posture and balance  
  • Range of motion and muscle strength
  • Visual perceptual skills 
  • Fine motor skills
  • Visual motor skills
  • Sensory modulation 
  • Social skills as impacted by sensory or physical disabilities
  • Self-help skills related to sensory or physical disabilities 

Helping Our Kids Succeed Through School-based Occupational Therapy

Writing clear and concise PLPs will help ensure our students’ OT-related needs are addressed to allow them to access their curriculum to the best of their ability. PLPs are just one more tool we can use as OTs to help our kids thrive in school and beyond. 
Want more tips from the knowledgeable and experienced OTs on our Cross Country Education team? Check out these helpful resources:

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