School-Based Occupational Therapy

School-based Occupational Therapists often have many creative and practiced ways to help the child thrive within the school setting.

Occupational therapists work with students on many skills needed to fully access their educational environment with the greatest independence possible. The most common skill areas worked on are:

  • Fine motor (grasp pattern, finger isolation, hand strength, web space, palmar arches)
  • Gross motor and postural control ( playground, navigating school halls, body positioning during work time)
  • Bilateral Coordination (cutting, jumping jacks, buttoning)
  • Visual perceptual (tracking, “staying in the lines”, recognizing reversals)
  • Visual motor integration (handwriting, coloring, drawing, copying)
  • Sensory integration and self regulation (maintaining focus and alertness level, sensory breaks, tolerating tactile inputs, making smooth transitions)
  • Motor planning and sequencing (imitating postures in PE class, completing multi-step tasks, participating in novel playground games)

Occupational Therapists and COTA’s (Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants) working in the schools focus on the following areas:

  • Classroom skills, PE class, and playground/recess participation
  • Playground and sports participation
  • Homework
  • Self-help skills and Activities of Daily Living
  • Social participation
  • Mobility
  • Keeping an organized workspace
  • Social Skills
  • Transitioning from one environment to another
  • Assistive technology needs
  • Sensory regulation
  • Maintaining focus and optimal level of alertness to learn
  • Prevocational and transition needs