What Occupational Therapy Can Do

School-based occupational therapy can be utilized to ensure a student’s successful participation in school activities and routines. The role of service is to support student learning and appropriate behavior that leads to improved student achievement outcomes and success. Services can build skills and prevent failure through working directly with students and also with teachers, administrators and parents.

Early Intervention Services and Supports
Services can promote a variety of experiences that can benefit all students, not just those with disabilities, and which may assist in early identification and prevention of difficulties.
Some topics may include:
* Proper pencil grasp
* Handwriting techniques and strategies
* Organization of desk materials for easy accessibilitiy
* Adapting activities for all learners
* Healthy lifestyle choices
* Proper seat positioning
* Social skills/problem solving/coping skills

Assistance with Classroom Modifications
Services to adapt environments and materials for maximum student achievement may include:
* Helping teachers organize their classrooms for optimal student participation
* Designing classroom environments that promote attention and decrease sensory distractions
* Arranging student computer workstations according to ergonomic principles
* Assisting administrators in purchasing of appropriate student furniture
* Designing a playground that will facilitate participation and promote a variety of movement and sensory experiences
* Adapting areas of the school such as the cafeteria and rest rooms to increase independence in self-help skills
* Assisting teachers in choosing age-appropriate materials and adapting them to increase accessibility
* Providing suggestions for appropriate instructional and testing accomodations

Services to the educational team to prevent difficulties or assist in creating, modifying and maintaining a student’s skills through collaboration may include:
* Establishing a behavior modification program
* Identify age-appropriate activities to improve student learning and behavior
* Assist teachers to establish routines and class schedules that fit students’ needs
* Identify effective prompts and cues to reduce inappropriate behaviors
* Suggest effective handwriting programs and techniques
* Educate school staff about the effects of disabilty on learning
* Assist in creating transition plans
* Educate teams on assitive technology

To summarize, school-based occupational therapy promotes student skills for the job of learning. As I like to promote my unique style of services, it’s taking a child from frustration to fun!!!

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