Interprofessional Collaboration between Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists with Children who have Sensory Processing Deficits


  • Katie Kruszynski Elmhurst College
  • Jackie Leeseberg Elmhurst College
  • Tommy Loranger Elmhurst College
  • Courtney O'Keeffe Elmhurst College
  • Haley Pfafman Elmhurst College
  • Elizabeth Wanka Elmhurst College



Occupational therapist, Speech Language Pathologist, Children with sensory processing deficits




Occupational therapists (OT) and speech-language pathologists (SLP) are unique within their skills. Both professions work closely together in a collaborative manner to improve child and family outcomes.

Purpose:The aim of this study is to develop evidence based interprofessional educational modules to improve outcomes between occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists when working with a child who demonstrates sensory processing disorder.

Aim of the study:

1.Understand the impact of interprofessional collaboration OTs and SLPs when working with a child with sensory processing deficits

2.Understand the influence of educating SLPs on sensory processing

3.Demonstrate the


Research Design: Mixed Methods Study using Pre-test Post-test and Qualitative Method

Initial stage of study: 5 Speech Language Pathologists to determine Face Validity and 5 Occupational Therapists to determine Content Validity.


Phase 1: Complete

Phase 2: Recruitment is to begin September 2018

Phase 3: Recruitment to begin Spring 2019


Conclusion to be determined upon Phase 2 Completion

Implications for practice:

In this study, we have sought to demonstrate the value of interprofessional collaboration between occupational therapy and speech therapy graduate students treating sensory processing issues in pediatric clients. There is a growing body of research emphasizing sensory processing as an important component of human behavior, affecting health care practices and increasing among children in the United States (Dunn, 2007). Individuals with sensory processing challenges, mostly children, can experience disruptions to their daily routines, decreased participation at home and school, and attention issues that cause challenges during speech therapy sessions and that may hinder treatment outcomes.

Our study has aimed to increase the body of knowledge pertaining to sensory processing challenges in relation to speech therapy specifically, such as ways that speech therapists can identify sensory processing challenges among their pediatric clients and make necessary referrals for occupational therapy services to increase therapy outcomes, as well as to demonstrate effective collaboration and interprofessional education practices between  occupational therapists and speech therapists to be furthered by future research.



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Author Biographies

Katie Kruszynski, Elmhurst College


Jackie Leeseberg, Elmhurst College


Tommy Loranger, Elmhurst College


Courtney O'Keeffe, Elmhurst College


Haley Pfafman, Elmhurst College


Elizabeth Wanka, Elmhurst College

Assistant Professor/ Program Director

Master of Occupational Therapy Department



How to Cite

Kruszynski, K., Leeseberg, J., Loranger, T., O’Keeffe, C., Pfafman, H., & Wanka, E. (2018). Interprofessional Collaboration between Occupational Therapists and Speech Language Pathologists with Children who have Sensory Processing Deficits. Journal of Student Research.