Occupational Therapy’s main goal when working with students is to enable students to engage in and participate in their classroom school based activities and specialist programs including art, music and physical education / hydrotherapy.
Leisure and social activities including access to mobility options, participation during recess and lunch times, and, participation in school incursions and excursions including safe transport to and from venues is part of the role.
Occupational therapy also works on those self-care daily living activities and life skills that are required at school and at home such as toileting, dressing, food preparation and maximising independence during mealtimes.
Occupational therapists work collaboratively with the school team including the school leadership team, classroom teachers, educational support staff and with our Speech Pathologists, and Physiotherapists in a multi-disciplinary way. All Occupational Therapy programs are developed following completion of comprehensive individualised assessments, observations and consultation with teachers, education support staff, parents and NDIS funded private therapists to ensure that they are in line with each student’s educational goals as detailed in their Individual Learning Plan.
Therapeutic activities the students engage in are embedded within classroom routines and structure that help to:
- Strengthen student’s bodies for functional participation in activities
- Assist student’s with their awareness of their sensory needs and develop their skills with self-regulation to meet those sensory needs for engagement in learning
- Provide modifications to aspects of activities to achieve a just right challenge for students e.g. using switches and mounting of technology for a student’s visual and physical interaction with technology
- Provide equipment and/or modifications to all learning environments including the sensory environment to enable student participation.
Occupational therapists support teachers and educational support staff to provide reasonable and necessary supports to students to enable access to the curriculum and be able to engage in learning e.g. specialised equipment for student posture and visual access or modifying the sensory environment in the classroom to facilitate participation.