What is school-based Occupational Therapy?


School based Occupational Therapists work to ensure that the student can participate in the full breadth of school activities, from paying attention in class, concentrating on a task, holding a writing implement correctly, using classroom tools, accessing technology to  providing needed adaptations and accommodations to access the school curriculum.  

School Based OT can be performed in a variety of ways, from pulling a student out of class for a group or individual therapy session, pushing in to the classroom during both academic and non-academic times to support the student in the context of the classroom environment and/or providing consultation and support to teachers, support staff and aides.  Ideally, a student’s OT will incorporate a combination of these techniques into the student’s treatment plan in order to facilitate carryover of therapeutic strategies across school settings.

Specific skills worked on in OT include:

-Visual Motor Integration/Eye Hand Coordination

-Fine motor: grasp, manipulation, hand strength, pencil control

-Bilateral Coordination: crossing midline, coordinating the 2 sides of the body

-Postural control: trunk strength, shoulder stability

-Motor Planning: carrying out novel motor tasks in a sequence

-Visual Perceptual: scanning, depth perception, visual discrimination

-Sensory Processing/Attention

-Graphomotor: letter formation, orientation, spacing and overall organization

-Executive Function: sequencing, planning and higher level organizational skills