Degrees and Certifications:

M.S. in Occupational Therapy from Univ of IL, Chicago B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Univ of IL, Chicago NDT certified SIPT certified CPI certified

Mrs. Debbie Houlihan


This is my second year at Emerson Elementary School, but my 14th year in the district.  I am a mom of 3 and my 3 kids went to Emerson!  I am really happy to be back at Emerson as I love this school!  I am at Emerson on Mon, Wed and Thursday and at Longfellow Elementary School on Tuesdays and Fridays.  

  • An occupational therapist looks at many of the skills that make up a child’s occupation.  In the school environment, that occupation is a student.  An OT will assist the student in developing fine motor and visual-motor skills to assist in the acquisition of writing, drawing, cutting, and even some technology skills.  In addition, an occupational therapist assists in the development of sensory processing skills that enhance the development of self-regulation.  Having good self-regulation allows for the development of good attention and focus which allows the student to be ready for learning.