How can students learn best? That’s a big question in any classroom and can be an extra challenge for students dealing with a physical, mental or emotional disability. To help, schools and parents rely on a range of educational and health-care professionals.
Among them are occupational therapists (OTs). OTs help people of all ages, including children, improve the functions that allow them to do what’s most important to them. For a child, those activities might be participating in gym class or printing or writing a story.
As licensed health-care professionals, OTs can do evaluations of a child’s physical, sensory, cognitive, emotional and behavioural skills. With that information, they can then determine what the child might need to adapt and thrive.
An OT’s support can include helping children with specific skills like handwriting or computer use, overall skills like improving focus or coordination, or behavioural strategies in the classroom. All can make it easier for students to learn in school.
For anyone working with an OT, the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario is a great resource. It sets the standards for OTs and holds them accountable. That puts the interests of the children and all clients they serve first.
The College also has information about what to expect when working with an OT, from an initial assessment, to treatment and services around developing, recovering or enhancing certain skills. If you have concerns or complaints, the College is also there to help. Find more information or a licensed OT at coto.org.