Occupational therapists use purposeful activity to facilitate a child’s active participation in self-maintenance; academic and vocational pursuits; and play or leisure activities that occur in school environments.
School-based occupational therapy services are different from medically-based O.T. services. O.T. is a related service that exists within the public schools in order to assist students to benefit from their educational program. Medically-based O.T. services do not operate under this legal mandate.
The presence of medical conditions, injuries, and disabilities does not automatically determine the need for O.T. services in the school setting. The I.E.P. team determines which services a student requires in order to participate in their natural school setting. The I.E.P. team includes the parents, student, teacher, and school district representative, and other individuals at the discretion of the parents and/or the school.