What Virtual Schools Must Know
1. The Warning Signs That Your Student Needs Occupational Therapy
A child who frequently chooses the same game or activity, or stays away from learning new games could signal that there are motor function problems. Likewise, a child that avoids manipulating small objects such as scissors grips a pencil abnormally or presses too hard or too light on the paper when writing, may indicate that the child has difficulty with fine motor skills.
Observing any one of these behaviors could be a clue that this student is having a tougher time with every-day life than others. These problems, in turn, will very likely adversely impact that kid's experience in school. The best way to help is to seek out an occupational therapist for techniques and strategies to help this child to overcome these challenges and improve overall performance.
2. Occupational Therapist’s Role in Educational Settings
Occupational Therapy in Schools often differs from occupational therapy in a clinic or hospital. School-based therapists focus on removing barriers from students’ ability to learn, helping these students develop skills which increase their independence in school, and educating school personnel about how to help these children.
The clinician's entire focus within in the school setting is that which is educationally relevant. The therapist evaluates, assesses and accommodates functional abilities of students in school classrooms, hallways, and other designated areas. Additionally, as is often the case with special education students, the OT will help the teacher modify the access to, or presentation of, educational materials.
3. The Ways That An Occupational Therapist Helps Kids In A School Setting
In the schools, OTs use their unique expertise to help students by supporting a whole range of outcomes, whether they be academic, social or behavioral. These skills could be in math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), recess, participation in sports, or interacting with friends. Therapists help plan instructional activities that teachers can implement in the classroom, and guide educators in using assistive technology to support student success.
Online Occupational Therapists are skilled in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities through a variety of methods. Aside from working with the children directly, they play a critical role in helping and training teachers, parents and caregivers regarding the kid’s particular needs. OTs can observe a student engaging in an activity and provide suggestions to improve participation in just about any area.
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4. The Way To Pick A Great Occupational Therapist
Successful occupational therapists exhibit personal traits and skills that enhance their success. First of all, they need good communication skills. To help others requires being able to listen sincerely to that person’s needs, critically think about each situation, and respond in a clear and useful way.
Secondly, an OT must be a good problem solver. Problems are rarely identical from one client to the next, and sometimes there may be multiple issues to address simultaneously. Fruitful problem solving demands understanding and creativity. Sometimes the client won’t adjust to a particular plan or challenge, and it’s up to the OT to find a way to to make it work.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, are compassion, empathy and patience. Clients need a therapist who is warm, who understands, and someone who enjoys helping others: It’s all about caring and gently saying, ‘I won’t do it for you, but I am going to inspire you to do it yourself!’”
5. Online Occupational Therapy Empowers Children
Online Occupational Therapy can enable a child in any number of ways. Perhaps it will be by improving physical abilities so the child can be more independent. Or maybe by helping the child become more involved in school-related activities. And sometimes it can simply be by enhancing the student’s ability to concentrate and complete schoolwork.
Simply put, the desired outcome of online occupational therapy is to help children learn to be as productive and independent as possible. In other words, the greatest gift occupational therapy can offer a child is to empower that child and raise the child’s self-esteem. Could there be any greater gift to a struggling child?
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