In compliance with state and federal law, occupational therapy provided in schools is considered a related service to special education programs. OT provides services to individual students and consults with educational team (which includes the student's parents or guardian) to enable students to benefit from their special education program. Therapists work to improve, develop, restore, and/or maintain a student's sensory/motor functions as they relate to the educational setting. Specific types of services are flexible and may change, depending on the needs of the student and the educational staff.
Examples of service
OT service may involve direct or indirect service delivery. It is a related service on a student's Individualized Education Program to address performance difficulties that are impacting on the student's ability to be successful in his or her educational environment. Difficulties with fine and visual-motor tasks such as writing, drawing, coloring, cutting, and manipulative skills involved with clothing fasteners and tying shoes can be addressed by occupational therapy. Occupational therapy may also be involved when there are differences in processing sensory information. This can show itself in sensitivities to auditory and tactile information, hyperactivity, and distractibility. OT is provided based on the needs of each individual student. Service delivery can be:
- A combination of indirect and direct
- Home programming
- Extended School Year service