Occupational Therapy - Mrs. Derouin

  Occupational Therapy News 

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What is School-based Occupational Therapy?

School-based Occupational Therapy (OT) is a related service provided to students whose academic success is significantly hindered by difficulty in skill areas such as fine motor, handwriting, visual perception, and eye-hand coordination.


How does school-based Occupational Therapy help a student?

School-based OT’s work with students to do one of three things:

  • Improved physical abilities - increase muscle strength, improve coordination, develop fine and gross motor skills.
  • Adapt the surroundings – change or adapt the classroom setting and/or materials (pencils grips, decrease distractions, provide slant boards) to improve classroom success.
  • Teach new skills – teach new or adapted ways to perform tasks such as using adapted scissors, teaching self-care skills and teaching strategies for better handwriting.


How does a student qualify for Occupational Therapy Services?

If a professional (teacher, psychologist, nurse, speech or physical therapist) who works with a child feels that they have issues related to gross/fine motor skills, visual perception, sensory processing and those weaknesses are strongly affecting the success of the child in a school setting, that professional can make a referral to have the student evaluated by an Occupational Therapist.


What can I do to help promote my child’s fine motor development?

  • Manipulating play dough: by rolling it into small balls, long rolls etc.
  • Tear paper into fine strips – use them for collage or crumple them into balls.
  • Thread beads or macaroni onto string.
  • Cutting out pictures from magazines with scissors.
  • Use clothespins to pick up small objects.
  • Finger paint with fingers hand hands in various media (i.e. Ketchup, pudding, finger paints, glue)
  • Wheelbarrow walking, crab walking, hanging on playground apparatus helps to develop strength of the upper body.
  • Working on a vertical surface such as a blackboard or easel which requires the wrist to be bent back (extended) is good for developing fine motor skills. An upright surface encourages a stable wrist position to develop good thumb movements, strengthen fine motor muscles and encourages the use of both the arm and shoulder muscles.



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