Occupational Therapy in this school setting has the opportunity to help children become more functional in their environments. We are concerned with a student’s ability to participate to their highest potential in purposeful activity in daily life tasks that include care for one’s self or others, preparing them for work, going to school, playing and living as independently as possible. Screening allows OT to identify those students who need evaluation of the educationally related needs and create goals that are included in the student’s IEP. School personnel commonly request OT support when students have difficulty with the following functions as related to educational participation:
- Daily living skills
- Feeding and oral function
- Play skills
- Task organization and completion
- Hand function – using tools and supplies, helping develop reach and grasp for school work, play and daily living activities
- Sensory integration to increase self-regulation and cueing during the day
- Visual perception
- Pre-vocational skills
- Environmental and therapeutic adaptations including help with classroom positioning for optimal learning, upper extremity splinting, use of assistive technology including access to iPads and SMART Boards, adaptive switches
Occupational Therapy staff facilitates educational in-service programs that benefit the educational staff and provide carry-over of OT goals within the classroom and at home.
Therapy staff can push into the classroom or therapy rooms make alternate therapeutic space for treatments when distractions need to be limited or sensory modulation is needed. Students benefit from our rich sensory based program providing graded vestibular, tactile, proprioceptive, auditory, visual, olfactory and gustatory input as needed. Two therapy rooms and a large gym as well as all the classrooms provide ample space for a multitude of therapy equipment and supplies.
Whether or not students receive direct or indirect services, our OT staff ensure that interventions are relevant to the needs of the students’ daily routine. Through collaboration with other team members including teachers and parents, OTs at the Hayes Day School help make the learning process for their students not only individualized and challenging but treatments tap into each students potential while they learn in a fun, motivating environment.