Occupational Therapy

What is school-based OT?

Occupational therapy is a related service and is provided to support the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for students who have a disability that interferes with their educational performance and ability to benefit from their education program. School-based occupational therapists promote the development of fine motor, visual motor, bilateral coordination, self-help, and sensory processing skills to improve the student’s participation in everyday routines and activities that are a part of his or her program.  School-based therapy is not intended to meet all of the therapeutic needs of a student; rather it is intended to ensure that a child can participate in the school activities that are a part of his or her education. School-based occupational therapy must be educationally relevant. 


Occupational therapy in a school setting varies based on the student’s individual needs and can include:

  • Improving the student’s fine motor, visual motor, and bilateral coordination skills
  • Improving the student’s school appropriate self-help skills (completing a zipper and buttons, manipulating a backpack)
  • Improving the student’s sensory processing skills to maximize attention and participation in educational activities
  • Educating staff on strategies to improve student participation
  • Modifying the environment to maximize student’s overall participation