Occupational Therapy

School-Based Occupational Therapists are part of the education team and address the student’s strengths and needs within the natural school settings (e.g. classroom, lunchroom, playground) in order to support the educational program. Services may be directed to the student and on behalf of the student in the school environment (e.g. training educational staff). Therapists use meaningful activities (occupations) to promote physical and mental health and well-being.

Occupational therapy service supports academics, behavior, and functional performance. The occupational therapy practitioner collaborates with parents and school staff to create solutions, taking into account the child, the activity, and the setting. The goal is to promote participation through:

  • Addressing sensory, cognitive, motor needs; improving body awareness, balance, sensory processing and fine motor coordination
  • Adapting activities/equipment and environments; modifying classroom/school equipment, recommending bus or classroom seating, wheelchair assessment, splinting consultation
  • Increasing independence in daily living skills; addressing self-care such as eating/drinking, toileting and dressing activities
  • Increasing attention by recommending motor breaks and alerting activities
  • Recommending assistive technology to increase learning access and participation e.g. recommending computer software for literacy development and other functional writing activities
  • Supporting school mental health by promoting coping and calming skills for social participation
  • Supporting transition toward employment, community or mainstream integration, and further education (e.g. increasing student ability to perform the activities associated with an after school job or internship)
  • Promoting positive behavior that impacts learning (i.e. sharing, turn-taking, social skills training