SCHOOL OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
Occupational Therapy (OT) services are offered at the Farmington River Regional School District to students whose Individual Educational Plan specifies the need for Occupational Therapy interventions. Children are initially evaluated for eligibility by the Occupational Therapist. This process is initiated by a student’s case manager. All the district classes serving pre-school handicapped and autistic students will receive Occupational Therapy.
The aim for school based Occupational Therapy is to support and maximize educational participation in class. OT is provided to enhance sensory-motor responses and to strengthen foundational skills underlying good motor control. Other students receiving special services qualify for OT when specific motor, social and functional skills will be enhanced through school occupational therapy. The OT assessment includes observation of the child in class, the OT room, and searches for parent and teacher input. Many times formal testing of motor and developmental skills will be part of the OT evaluation process. When indicated, an OT intervention plan will be written up, goals set and OT will be implemented after an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) is set up. The IEP confirms the agreement of the OT, parent, child study team member and teacher to include Occupational Therapy as support service into a student’s educational plan.
Occupational therapy can be provided as a direct or indirect service. Direct service could be individual or small group session, or at times the participation of an entire class in activities introduced by the school occupational therapist. OT service can be provided in the children’s classes or the OT room. Indirect OT is the monitoring of the progress of students and consultation to parents and teachers. The goal of both the direct and the consulting OT model is to support a child’s successful participation in classroom activities by modifying the environment, adapting tasks, or introducing learning activities to promote sensory-motor maturation and skill development.