Occupational Therapy & Physical Therapy
What is Occupational Therapy?
The American Occupational Therapy Association defines occupational therapy as, "a skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of life." Occupational therapy is considered an allied health profession. Our educational background includes training in biological, physical, medical, and behavioral sciences. Occupational therapists use purposeful activities to help individuals accomplish the tasks required by his/ her developmental stage.
What Does Occupational Therapy Do in the Educational Setting?
In the school setting, children participate in the occupations of play, socialization, and other academic related tasks. At times there are difficulties and/or disabilities a child may have that interfere with the child being successful in school. Sometimes these difficulties are related to a delay in development, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, medical diagnosis, or sensory dysfunction. The occupational therapists works with students who have an impaired ability to perform tasks required in the educational environment.
Occupational therapists may address issues of:
- Activities of daily Living such as clothing management, eating, drinking, and self care
- Functional fine motor tasks such as writing, keyboarding, and manipulation of classroom tools or materials
- Motor planning and coordination
- Posture, positioning, strength, endurance, and range of motion as it relates to specific educational activities or tasks
- Organization and management of classroom materials and assignments
- Environmental modifications or strategies that might assist a child with organization, attention, and focus and enable a child to be more successful in the school environment
- Assistive technology
- Sensory processing
- Visual perceptual skills and spatial orientation
Physical therapists are the professionals in the examination and treatment of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems that affect peoples' abilities to move the way they want and function as well as they want in their daily lives. They serve students in their regular school setting and in special programs throughout the district. The purpose of physical therapy in school settings is to support the student's education program. The physical therapist works closely with instructional and other related service personnel in the student's school in helping to implement the student's educational program.