*I am the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) at the Cattaraugus Little Valley Campus. I have been working with children in the school system setting for 12 years now.
* The American Occupational Therapy Association defines occupational therapy as the therapeutic use of purposeful activity to help people live as fully and as normally as possible within their own environment.
*Occupational therapists in the school setting help to provide the educational team with information relating to a variety of skill areas.
* I enjoy my job and would love to respond to any questions you might have. Feel free to contact me at any time.
What Do Occupational Therapists Do?
~ Facilitate gross and fine motor development
~ Facilitate visual motor and perceptual- motor skills
~ Promote sensory awareness and processing
~ Improve self concept, social skills and study skills
~ Promote age appropriate independence in daily living skills (i.e. eating, dressing, grooming, etc.)
~ Work with the education team to provide assistive technology as needed
~ Encourage community integration and independence for transition
Occupational Therapy As It is Identified for Schools:
*Occupational therapy is identified in the law as a related service for school-age children . The purpose in the schools are for:
1. Improving, developing or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation;
2. Improving the ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and
3. Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.
More Information Please!
To find out more information about Occupational Therapy in general click on the link: http://www.aota.org/
Some useful topics for parents or teachers related to children are:
How Is A Child Referred for Therapy Services?
If a teacher or other educator on the team observes a student having difficulty within their educational setting they are generally referred to the Intervention Team. At this point those team members might suggest the need for an Occupational Therapy Screener to be done. This is a simple checklist performed by the teacher with samples of the students work. If it is felt that the student might benefit from services, a request for an evaluation can be initiated by any member of the education team. Upon parental concern the evaluation can be done by the Registered Occupational Therapist within the school.
How Do Educators and Therapists Work Together?
The teamwork that we provide is vital in creating the most beneficial and consistent approach to working with a child. Occupational Therapists rely on other team members to express their concerns and relay feedback. Team members may include the teacher, gym teacher, physical therapist, or school psychologist. The most important member of the team is the parent and all information supplied to help ensure academic success is encouraged.
Who Is Eligible to receive OT?
The Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1990 assured that "all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education which emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs."