Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy in School Settings

School Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are key contributors within the education team. They support a student’s ability to participate in desired daily school activities or “occupations.” They help children to fulfill their role as students by supporting inclusion within the school environment. Roles within the school include; direct student assessment, collaboration with other team members (SLP, Psychologists, Mental Health, Physiotherapy), consultation to parents and/ or staff,  presentations to parents and/or staff, as well as direct interventions and overseeing OT specific programming (printing interventions, feeding programs, etc.). 


Because of their expertise in activity and environmental analysis, practitioners are particularly skilled in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities. They focus on the students’ strengths, and can design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility, such as Universal Design for Learning. Additionally, they play a critical role in educating parents, educators, administrators and other staff members. They offer services along a continuum of prevention, promotion, and interventions and serve individual students, groups of students, whole classrooms, and whole school initiatives. They collaborate within the education team to support student success. In this way, Occupational Therapy practitioners can contribute within both general and special education. 


Occupational Therapy practitioners have specific knowledge and expertise to increase participation in school routines throughout the day. Interventions include:

  • Fine motor/ printing
  • Sensory Programming
  • Equipment
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Social Skills
  • Assistive Technology (AT)
  • Self help skills (toileting, dressing, eating)
  • Increasing independence in school tasks and routines
  • Life skills programming
  • Environmental modification


Source: Occupational Therapy in School Settings - AOTA