Occupational Therapy (OT) for School-Aged Children

The School Therapy OT Program is a school-based program that offers occupational therapy to children in a school environment from kindergarten to grade 12. The goals of the program are to work as a member of the school team and support students to successfully participate in school activities and meet their learning potential.  

Will my child need a referral?

Yes. Referrals to the program are accepted only from your child’s school along with parental consent. Concerns must be school-based. 

If a parent, family doctor, pediatrician or other health agency would like a student to be seen by the School Therapy OT Program, the referral request must go through the child’s school Student Services team.

How does occupational therapy support children in school?

Occupational therapists are regulated health professionals that bring knowledge about motor (i.e., fine, gross and visual motor), sensory and perceptual development into the school environment to help support children and youth with achieving independence and success with:

  • Self-cares:  bathroom routines; getting outdoor clothing on and off; clothing fasteners (i.e. buttons, snaps, zippers, shoelaces); opening lunch and snack packages/containers, feeding self, using a lock for a locker, etc. 
  • Classroom routines and specialist classes:  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 gym and music, etc.
  • Engaging in and completing school work:  focusing their attention and starting work in a timely manner; expressing their learning through drawing, printing, cursive writing, using a computer, etc.
  • Managing the sensory demands of a school environment:  sound of the bell and/or announcements; busy corridors; echo in a gym; lights; textures of learning materials (i.e. glue, play dough, paints, pencils); need to sit for long periods of time; etc.
  • Participating in play and extra-curricular activities:  engaging in play on the playground, or during indoor recess; participating in intramurals or school events; taking turns, engaging in a variety of play, etc.
  • Managing their environment:  ensuring accessible spaces for students who use mobility aids (i.e., walker, wheelchair); identifying appropriate desk and chair heights or  alternative seating options (i.e., standing desks, movement cushions, stools, etc.); identifying optimal learning spaces; need for equipment for personal cares, switch access for communication devices or to engage with their environment.

Consider discussing a referral with your child’s classroom teacher or school team if your child is experiencing difficulty in the above mentioned areas.

School Therapy OT Program Occupational Therapists: 

  • Westisle Family of Schools    
  • Three Oaks Family of Schools and French Schools in Prince County
  • Kinkora - Kensington Family of Schools
  • Bluefield Family of Schools
  • Charlottetown Rural Family of Schools 
  • Colonel Gray Family of Schools and French Schools for Queens and Kings Counties
  • Montague, Souris and Morell Families of Schools
Published date: 
November 7, 2019
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