School-based Occupational Therapists typically work with students who demonstrate fine motor, visual perceptual, visual motor integration, and/or sensory processing difficulties. To qualify for OT services, these delays should be affecting the student’s ability to make progress with the educational program. Under the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” (IDEA), Occupational Therapy (OT) is considered a related service in the educational setting. In the school setting, a student must first qualify to be in Special Education in order to be eligible to receive Occupational Therapy services. Once the student is evaluated and determined to qualify for the related service of Occupational Therapy, the school OT may work with the student directly to help achieve educational goals, and/or consult with teachers for strategies to be implemented in the classroom. The OT often offers classroom accommodations and/or assistive technology to increase student success. One example of a low-tech solution for handwriting is the use of specialized paper to improve legibility and organization on the page. Occupational Therapy services will be discontinued when skills have been incorporated into school routines, when needed supports are in place, or when the student no longer needs OT support to progress on goals.
Below is a link to a brochure about the Role of the School Based Occupational Therapist. The brochure was developed by the American Occupational Therapy Association: