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Learning Through Relationships

Occupational Therapy

The occupational therapy department utilizes the DIR® methodology and Floortime™ approach to address sensory regulation, motor planning, and visual spatial needs of the students at the Rebecca School. A major focus of the occupational therapy program is the “I” in DIR®. The I – Individual differences refers to the unique ways individuals take in, respond to, and comprehend the world around them. Occupational therapists develop an understanding of each student’s unique individual profile and create individualized sensory diets or sensory programs to support their ability to process sensory information and produce an adaptive response. These sensory diets support the student’s developmental growth and ability to relate and communicate with others. Occupational therapy sessions incorporate motivating activities that are meaningful to the student to engage them through play while supporting the student’s growth in the functional emotional developmental capacities. Occupational therapists use sensory equipment to promote play and regulation. Once regulated the student is more available for engagement and classroom participation. With sensory supports the student can stay in an interaction and a classroom environment in a more meaningful way.

Through playful and meaningful interactions the occupational therapy (OT) department supports the development of fine motor skills using the student’s passions and interests. Occupational therapists use individual and group sessions to develop core and upper extremity strength as well as integrate the sensory systems which is needed for body awareness. Strength, coordination, and sensory integration are integral in prewriting and the foundational academics. Fine motor skills are not only needed for academics and handwriting, these smaller muscle skills of the hands, wrists, fingers, and eyes are also needed for ADLs (activities of daily living) such as dressing and self-feedingThe OT department at the Rebecca School analyze tasks and activities that are important to the child and their families to be sure to address all underlying deficits (visual motor skills, hand strength) in order to support fine motor growth and development.