Occupational therapists are part of the education team within a school district. In the schools, occupational therapists use their expertise to assist students to be prepared for and perform important learning and school related activities and to fulfill their role as students.
Occupational therapists work with a variety of individuals in the school setting:
• Students to support their performance in a variety of learning environments (i.e. classrooms, lunchrooms, restrooms, playgrounds);
• Parents to support children’s learning and participation in school;
• Staff to consult, plan and develop activities and environments that include all students in learning;
• Para-educators to support student success and promote safety within the school environment;
• Administrators to provide training for students, staff, and parents, as well as to recommend equipment for schools and ways to modify existing buildings and curriculum to allow access for all.
School-based occupational therapy services are available for students eligible for special education and are determined through the IEP process. Occupational therapists may provide assessments for eligibility for OT services and work with other members of the school’s IEP team to determine what is needed for a student to receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. They collaborate with other members of the education team to identify a student’s annual goals and determine the services, supports, modifications, and accommodations that are required for the student to achieve these goals.
For more information, contact the Special Education department at the local school.