Are we being too child-focused in our therapy planning?

People working in the schools are often expected to make everything a priority all the time, without consideration of how they might be able to manage the backlog of projects. 

They have to say “No” to people who need help in the interest of saying “Yes” to others. They have to see the faces of the people their decisions are impacting. 

While there is an understanding that prioritization is part of the methodology in other industries and agencies, it's viewed with much more skepticism when it’s done in education. 

When teachers, school therapists, and school administrators have to say “No” they’re accused of focusing too much on test scores, being obsessed with funding, making it all about the grades and the standards, or not being inclusive and individualized enough for students. 

These concerns come with good intentions because they’re focused on STUDENTS. 

But how often do we ask, “What is the best scope and sequence for supporting the adults?”

There are endless debates about what is and isn’t evidence-based, what is developmentally appropriate and reasonable to expect from students, and how we should design programs and services.

Yet sometimes the research and developmental models don’t give us clear answers. 

Sometimes the “best” intervention plan on paper isn’t feasible (which means it really wasn’t the best after all). 
Making good decisions for students and clients isn’t JUST about what the research says. 
It’s about what’s going to help the adults get from point A to point B without burning out. 

That’s why I’m proposing an unconventional way to answer the question of, “What should I prioritize in instruction/therapy”? in episode 142 of the De Facto Leaders podcast

I discuss answers to questions like:

✅What are “child-focused” questions, and when should we settle for “good enough” answers?

✅Core/content area knowledge versus problem-solving and application: Which is higher priority for teachers?

✅Language therapy vs. executive functioning therapy: Can school clinicians address both? 

✅Can schools borrow methods from business and tech companies to better serve students? 

✅Scaffolded adult learning: What information and support do adults working in the schools need to do their jobs well?

In this episode, I mentioned my Language Therapy Advance Foundations program that teaches SLPs how to create a language therapy system. Learn how to become a member here: 

I also mentioned the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers put executive functioning support in place on their school team. You can learn more about the program here:

I also mentioned the following De Facto Leaders episodes:

EP 113: Making literacy accessible and equitable (with Cassandra Williams) Link here:

EP 122: Executive functioning for college students: Beyond checklists and planners (with Jill Fahy) Link here:

EP 123: Creating equitable systems for K-12 math (with Jonathan Regino) Link here:

EP 129: Professional learning communities and curriculum reform in public and private education (with Tom Conroy) Link here:

EP 131: What are tech and curriculum companies doing for K-12 education? (with Meg Hearn) Link here:

EP 138: Increasing access to instructional programs in rural districts (with Chris Dodge) Link here:

EP 148: Unclicking success through sensory processing and team collaboration with Maude Le Roux):

We’re thrilled to be sponsored by IXL and MyFlexLearning

IXL’s comprehensive teaching and learning platform for math, language arts, science, and social studies is accelerating achievement in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts. Loved by teachers and backed by independent research from Johns Hopkins University, IXL can help you simplify and streamline technology, reliably meet Tier 1 standards, improve assessment performance, and more. Visit today to learn more about how IXL can elevate your school or district.

MyFlexLearning is the scheduling platform that helps middle and high schools meet the individual needs of all students. Create and manage time for flex blocks, WIN time, activity periods, RTI, counselor and teacher appointments and much more. And with a built-in accountability tool and reporting features, solve your challenges around getting kids where they need to be and understanding how flex time is spent. Make your flex time work for you. Visit to learn more and receive $500 off the first year. 
Are we being too child-focused in our therapy planning?