Overview of Occupational Therapy Services
Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants 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 therapy practitioners use their unique expertise to help children to prepare for and perform important learning and school-related activities and to fulfill their role as students. In this setting, occupational therapists (and occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of the occupational therapist) support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, prevocational/vocational participation, and more, for children and students with disabilities, 3 to 21 years of age. Practitioners are particularly skilled in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities through supports, designing and planning, and other methods. Additionally, they play a critical role in training parents, other staff members, and caregivers regarding educating students with diverse learning needs.