The principle role of the school-based occupational therapist is to assist students in benefitting from their educational program. Therapy service must contribute to the development, improvement, or maintenance of the student’s functional level within the educational curricula.
Areas of intervention for occupational therapy in the schools can include many different educational aspects, depending on the needs of the individual student. OTs can address positioning issues, including classroom chairs, wheelchairs, and other types of adaptive equipment. Fine motor development is an important area dealing with small object manipulation, handwriting, cutting with scissors, organizational strategies, visual-motor, and visual-perceptual skills. Activities of daily living that can be addressed in the school setting include dressing, grooming/hygiene, toileting, and self-feeding. OTs also work on enhancing the ability to learn through sensorimotor activities that address motor planning, attending, and behavior issues. Other areas of intervention include facilitating a student’s independence through access to assistive technology, and as students get older helping with preparation for vocational needs. Promoting competency and safety of educational staff in body mechanics, handling techniques, motor skills, and classroom adaptions is an important role of the school OT.
Check out the website links at the right for fun ideas to enhance fine motor skill development.