Occupational therapy in the school setting helps students develop the skills they need to be successful in their academic and daily activities by improving their fine motor skills, visual-motor skills, and sensory processing abilities.
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What Is School-Based Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy does its best to match a child’s ability to the demands presented in school.
OT intervention is critical for students with the difficulties mentioned above, mainly because “schools have the responsibility to contribute to the health and development of children in their care and because children have no choice but to spend a certain period of time each day at school” (Bundy et al., 2008, p. 523).
The role of OTs in a school setting is to equalize a student’s abilities to the tasks required; however, the role of the OT has expanded to much more than fine motor skills such as handwriting and scissor skill work.
OTs may work with students with physical limitations, developmental delays, learning disorders, speech or language concerns, hearing or visual impairments, or behavior or emotional difficulties. OTs may work with students on self-regulation skills, attention to task, or sensory challenges.
An OT is part of a child’s education team. For example, if a child qualifies for an individualized education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, they may be eligible for occupational therapy services.
Sometimes, a certified occupational therapy assistant may support the OT and students by providing interventions prescribed by the OT.
Tiffany Sauber Millacci, P. D. (2022, November 17). School-based occupational therapy and its goals explained. PositivePsychology.com. Retrieved January 16, 2023, from https://positivepsychology.com/school-occupational-therapy/#comment-list