• ›School-based occupational therapy is designed to enhance the student's ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment.

    This might include working on:
    › Handwriting or fine motor skills so the child can complete written assignments
    › Helping the child organize himself or herself in the environment (including work space in and around the desk)
    ›Working with the teacher to modify the classroom and/or adapt learning materials to facilitate successful participation. - AOTA

    The OT may also address ›fine and visual motor control for writing and art-type activities, self-care activities (such as managing fasteners on clothing , coats, and backpacks and food containers), visual perceptual skills to discriminate the environment around them, letters and numbers. 

    ›OT will also support a student with sensory processing (the ability to take in the stimulation of the environment around you, integrate it and put out a purposeful response) and attention deficit problems that interfere with a student’s access to their education.    

    ›OT in the schools is student-centered and educationally relevant.  It is integrated into the natural environment of the school such as classroom, cafeteria, playground, and the media center.

    OT is ›a collaborative partnership with teachers and other educational personnel.  It is evidence based and focused on functional/educational outcomes; related to NCDPI Standard Course of Study.  

    ›OT is a related service under Part B of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
    ›Occupational Therapy in the schools is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education.

    ›As such, OT is a supportive service.  If a child has a disability, as defined by IDEA, and needs special education and related services to meet unique learning needs, then he/she might be eligible for OT services.

    › A child must be eligible for special education before being considered for OT services in the schools under IDEA. 

    › Eligibility for special education does not mean automatic eligibility for related services, including OT.  The final determination is made by the multidisciplinary team in concert with the OT evaluation. - AOTA

Last Modified on December 8, 2013