As children grow and play, they discover how to move their bodies, relate to their environment and direct their attention for purposeful behavior. This play is the foundation for later learning and behavior. Some children develop these abilities through natural maturation and some children need extra help.
Occupational therapists eliminate obstacles by learning to help the student develop underlying skills that are requisites for academic learning and vocational training. Registered Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants are vital members of the educational team.
In an educational setting occupational therapists adapt equipment and modify environments to increase independence in educational tasks for the student to be successful in the classroom. Occupational therapy intervention promotes increased gross and fine motor coordination and sensory motor functioning. Occupational therapy also focuses on the developing independence in activities of daily living such as feeding, dressing and pre-vocational skills.
Occupational therapy is available as a related service when the educational team determines that it is necessary in order for the student to benefit from their special educational program. Learn more about School-Based Occupational Therapy