“Skills for the Job of Living”
Brief Description of Occupational Therapy
The ultimate goal of “OT” (or occupational therapy) is to maximize functional independence. Specifically, in the school setting, the purpose of OT is to promote the acquisition of skills for success in the school environment. Some areas that school OTs address:
-Fine Motor Skills
-Gross Motor Skills
-Visual Motor Skills
-Visual Perceptual Skills
-That is not all! There are many other areas that OT can address.
Students in OT sessions perform activities for successful skill development. For example, a student working on fine motor skills may perform extra paper and pencil activities.
Activities performed in OT for skill acquisition are purposeful and meaningful. The activities are purposeful because they are chosen to have a direct association with skills needed to live life day to day. For example, handwriting is often a major focus of OT sessions. In order to keep up with learning in class, students must write efficiently. Handwriting is a “skill” for the “job” of being a student. Lastly, the activities are chosen to be meaningful to each individual student. So, if a student really loves dinosaurs, we do our best to include that in our sessions. So, for example, if the student that loves dinosaurs is working on handwriting, we could do warm-up exercises for the wrist and hands like a T-rex.
Brief Description of Occupational Therapy at Collier School
At Collier School, a registered and licensed occupational therapist and/ or a licensed occupational therapy assistant provide occupational therapy to students. The OT staff prepare clinical goals based on students’ IEPs and educational curriculum. An emphasis is placed on understanding student abilities, understanding the dynamic between the student and the school environment, and supporting student management of the classroom environment. Some particular specialty programs we use in OT at Collier are:
-The Alert Program
-Kidding Around Yoga
Occupational therapy is provided individually or in a small group in the OT room, in the classroom, and in other school settings. Please use the contact information below to touch base with OT at Collier, whether it is with questions, comments, or to ask for resources.
Kate van Oosterhout MS, OTR/L
732-946-4771 ext. 466
Courtney Lyons, COTA
Occupational Therapy Assistant
732-946-4771 ext. 466