Occupational Therapy (OT) for School-Aged Children

The School Therapy Occupational Therapy (OT) program, offers a school-based OT service to children from kindergarten to grade 12. It works together with students, school staff and parents/guardians at many different levels to support students with development of skills important to their: learning, active participation and independence. This is done through opportunities such as: information sharing, whole classroom and small group consults and, individual student referrals. 

How does occupational therapy support children in school?

Occupational Therapists (OTs) are regulated health professionals who bring knowledge into the school setting to support students with achieving independence and a sense of success with: 

  • Self-cares:  bathroom routines, putting on and removing outdoor clothing and footwear, clothing fasteners (i.e., snaps, zippers, buttons, shoelaces), opening and closing lunch containers, feeding self, etc.
  • Classroom and school routines:  moving safely within the classroom or throughout the school, transitioning between activities or spaces within the classroom or school, organizing and locating school materials, participating in: Phys Ed, library, music, etc.
  • Engaging and completing school work:  self-regulation with respect to focusing attention and starting work in a timely manner; as well as, expressing learning through drawing, printing, cursive writing, keyboarding, etc.
  • Participating in play and extra-curricular activities:  engaging in play during recess, participating in intramurals or school clubs, etc. 
  • Managing sensory demands:  sound of the bell and /or announcements, sounds and movement in busy corridors, echo in the gym, lights, feel of learning materials, etc. 
  • Managing the physical environment:  accessing spaces when using mobility aids (i.e., wheelchairs, walkers, etc.), appropriate classroom desk and chair heights, flexible seating options, optimal learning spaces; equipment for personal cares and technical access (i.e., change tables, lift systems, switches for environmental controls or communication devices), etc.

Will my child need a referral?

Referrals for the School Therapy OT Program are accepted from your child’s school in partnership with you as the parent/guardian. Concerns must be primarily school-based. Please discuss with your child’s school if you would like your child to be referred. If your child’s family doctor, pediatrician or other health agency would like your child to be referred, the request, with your consent, must go through your child’s school team.

If you would like further information on the School Therapy OT program please contact Yvonne Thompson, Occupational Therapist and Clinical Lead/Supervisor at 902-394-4426 or ycthompson@gov.pe.ca

Published date: 
October 28, 2022
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