The Meridian School District works in partnership with our families and our community to educate each student in a safe and supportive learning environment to become a positive contributor to society.
Stacie Erfle, OTR/L
What is Occupational Therapy in the School Setting?
Occupational therapists are part of the education team within a school district. The profession of occupational therapy is concerned with a person’s ability to participate in desired daily life activities or “occupations.” In the schools, occupational therapists use their unique expertise to help children to be prepared for and perform important learning and school related activities and to fulfill their role as students. Occupational therapists support academic and non-academic outcomes including social skills, math, reading, writing, recess, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation and more, for students with disabilities.
Occupational therapy services for students with special needs are determined through the IEP process. School-based occupational therapy is available for students who are eligible for special education services. Occupational therapists complete assessments and work with other members of the school-based team to help 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. When the IEP team determines that occupational therapy is needed for a student in order to meet his or her annual goals, then occupational therapy should be included in the student’s IEP. Occupational therapy services are carried out along a continuum that may include individual or group direct services, supplemental aids and services, activity adaptations, supports for school personnel, and collaboration with staff. Services may be provided across school environments.
(Information from www.aota.org, check out this website to learn more about occupational therapy)
Occupational Therapy in School Settings