Seattle Public Schools

Related Topics and Services

Occupational Therapy (OT)

School-Based Occupational Therapy (OT)

What is OT at School?

  • Focused on function, participation and engagement
  • Supports engagement in fine motor and visual motor skills needed for activities:
    • Using classroom tools like writing and cutting utensils
    • Clothing management
    • Daily life skills
  • Also works with academic staff to provide sensory supports/accommodations
students working at their desks

Sample OT Accommodations

  • Adaptive paper (paper with highlighted bottom half, grid paper, paper with raised bottom half for placing letters)
  • Alternative seating and learning tools (wobble stool, cube chair, wiggle cushion at circle time, sound canceling headphones, fidget tools)
  • Graphic organizers and breaking down assignments using visual aid
elementary students dipping paintbrushes into paint

How is school-based OT different from Clinic OT?

  • Intended to help students access their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as part of the students IEP (Individualized Education Plan)
  • OTs observe and analyze demands on student access, impacting their access to their education
  • Focus is to support student function and participation, not mastery of milestones
  • Includes direct work with students, and indirect work on behalf of the student
  • Clinic scope is on multiple settings, not just school setting, and can include specialty therapies
  • All school based OT services must be educationally relevant and have a significant adverse impact on the students participation
students raising their hands in class