Kathi Wieringa, OT Kathi.Wieringa@cusd200.org
Karen Busse,OT- firstname.lastname@example.org Kim Grimes,OT- email@example.com Jennifer Preston,OT- firstname.lastname@example.org Amy Mulick,OT- email@example.com Rita Hoffer, OT- firstname.lastname@example.org Colleen O'Brien, OT- email@example.com
What is Occupational Therapy?Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives.Occupational therapy assists people in developing the "skills for the job of living" necessary for independent andsatisfying lives. (AOTA, 2009)
School-Based Occupational TherapyOccupational therapy is concerned with a child’s ability to participate in daily life activities, or “occupations.” Occupational therapists are part of the preschool team. Occupational therapists support the achievement ofdevelopmental and learning outcomes for children with and without disabilities (AOTA, 2009).
How Occupational Therapy Supports Students’ LearningIn the school setting, children participate in the occupations of play and school related tasks (e.g. writing,coloring, cutting, and physical movement). A child may have difficulties and/or disabilities that interfere withthe child being successful in school. Sometimes these difficulties are related to a delay in development,learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or sensory dysfunction. The school occupational therapist works withstudents receiving special education who have impaired abilities to perform tasks required in the school setting.It is possible that a student may need occupational therapy in the clinic setting or early interventionbut may not be eligible in the educational setting.
Occupational Therapy (OT) FAQs
- A doctor’s prescription is required by Illinois State Law to initiate occupational therapy.
- In the school setting, OT is a related service. Under federal regulation, it is a service that the IEP team determines is required in order for a child with a disability to benefit from his or her program of specially designed instruction.
- OT services in the school setting differ from those in rehabilitation, early intervention, and other medical settings both in scope and in intent. Schools are not mandated to provide any and all pediatric OT to enrolled students. The proposed therapy program goals MUST be educationally-relevant and address how the student’s disability affects classroom performance rather than the disability itself. Click here for a comparison of Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education including Occupational Therapy services. To qualify for OT services, it must be shown that the unique skills and expertise of the OT are needed to assist the child to benefit from education.
- Some areas of dysfunction may include but are not limited to: keyboarding skills, handwriting, cutting, use of classroom manipulatives such as a ruler, self help skills (shoe tying, zipping, etc...)
- Occupational therapy practitioners may provide direct service (one-on-one or in groups,) consultation, and monitoring based on the student’s goal plan. Therapists may help make modifications to a student’s environment, activities, or assignments in order to increase participation. Intervention occurs in the student’s least restrictive environment, which usually means integrating therapy into the student’s classroom schedule or daily routine.
- How is OT different from PT in the school setting? In general, the focus of PT is the facilitation of gross motor development and basic mobility. The focus of OT is the development of fine and visual-motor motor skills, self care skills and functional skills.
USEFUL WEBSITES WE LIKE:
Pocket Full of Therapy
American Occupational Therapy Association
Handwriting Without Tears
Therapy Shoppe Inc.,
Handy Learning Program