Welcome to School-based Occupational Therapy
As a school-based Occupational Therapist I work with students to enhance their physical and mental performance during educationally relevant activities. Occupational Therapy focuses on the development of a student's functional abilities through the use of goal-oriented activities, as well as modification of the task or the environment. A school-based Occupational Therapist may work with a child to improve:
- Positioning: helping a child sit efficiently in class or improving their visual access to classroom activities to improve visual-motor outcomes.
- Sensory-motor processing - In school-based therapy, the Occupational Therapist's job is to facilitate a better "fit" between the sensory needs of that child and the environment. Often a school-based OT will act as a consultant to provide information about sensory processing to the staff and help implement strategies to assist a child with sensory difficulties interact more effectively in the educational setting.
- Fine Motor skills - including manipulation and dexterity needed for writing, cutting and working with a variety of school "tools".
- Visual-perception - In schools, deficits in visual-perception are generally addressed through adaptations and/or modifications such as enhancing the visual-spatial aspects of the task for greater understanding of the material and improved outcomes in reading and writing.
- Self-help skills - including eating, dressing and play skills.
- Functional mobility and access including safe movement through the school environment and access to computer or school activities
- Life skills where appropriate the OT may assist the "team" in developing plans for transition to community and pre-vocational skills needed for specific work site jobs