Occupational therapy (OT) puts “fun” in functional! It is a type of therapy using specific tasks and interventions to help individuals engage and participate in meaningful daily life activities. Occupational therapy in the school setting aims to help students rehabilitate or habilitate skills to increase participation and success in school—including, but not limited to grasping and manipulating classroom tools, paying attention in class, regulating self in their environment, eating lunch, and so much more.
OTs in the schools evaluate, analyze, determine specific goals, and create and implement treatment plans tailored to each student’s unique abilities. Factors we observe and target that may affect the student’s learning or behavior include motor skills, cognitive processing, visual perceptual skills, mental health, staying on task, organizational skills, or sensory responses. We look at students individually and as a whole to specify meaningful goals that the child needs and wants to do. We work with students individually (push-in/push-out) or in small groups. We also consult with teachers; we can recommend and demonstrate strategies for the classroom that will help improve the success of the student(s). We also provide parent education and demonstration of ways to use therapeutic strategies at home to continue the student’s growth and success in all environments.