• Welcome to the
    Occupational Therapy Department

    Occupational Therapists: 
    Kirsten Ware (Warek@voorhees.k12.nj.us
    Brooke Yarnal (yarnal@voorhees.k12.nj.us)
    What is occupational therapy?  Occupational therapy services within a school setting are designed to adapt the classroom environment, assist in the development of performance components that are prerequisites for academic learning, and facilitate functional daily living skills within a child's current educational setting. 
    How are services provided?  Current models of best practice suggest intervention be integrated into the naturally occurring events of the student's day, rather than in isolated settings or artificial situations.  However, there may be situations when certain skills may warrant more direct therapeutic interventions.  Collaborative efforts may be pursued with a combination of teachers, other related service providers, parents and other's pertinent to the student's program to support classroom functioning.
    Who receives occupational therapy services? Those students identified to require occupational therapy services in an IEP or 504 plan in order to access their education.  Determining the need for occupational therapy intervention must include observing the student within the educational environment and assessing his or her ability to meet the demands of the current educational program. If environmental adaptations and modifications are in place and teaching staff are trained to meet the goals of the IEP, then services may not be required.
    When will my child be ready to graduate from occupational therapy services?  This individualized decision is made by the IEP team and is based on the student's ability to access his education via teacher accommodation, assistive technology, adaptive tools (i.e. pencil grip), or the student's deficits no longer interfere with the student's ability to access his education.
    What skills do occupational therapist typically address?
    • Fine motor skills:  managing classroom tools and other manipulatives
    • Visual-perceptual skills:  provide strategies for interpreting visual information
    • Sensory Processing skills: help to effectively process and organize information from all senses so that he or she can effectively interact with the environment 
    • Self-care skills:  dressing, grooming, hygiene, and feeding
    • Pre-vocational skills:  address perquisite skills such as organization, sequencing, and time management 
     Links to past OT Newsletters: