Recognizing Need for Occupational Therapy in Students

Every teacher spends the day with a classroom full of children with unique needs. At times, these needs require other professionals to step in and provide assistance or therapies. Parents should expect teachers to know the signs that may indicate a student could benefit from pediatric occupational therapy services.

A lack of participation can indicate a need for therapy.

Look for students who choose to stand out of the way and watch others play. Keep an eye out for children who rarely participate in physical activities. Children who are uncomfortable participating may be embarrassed by their inability to do so. A therapist can step in and determine whether there is an issue that needs to be looked at more closely.

A difficulty with fine motor skills is an indicator of the need for evaluation.

A student who is not able to perform fine motor skills like typically-aged children should be evaluated. Children who are unable to button coats, zip pants, tie shoes, put puzzles together, pick up small objects, or has difficulty writing may benefit from an evaluation for services.

Decreased spacial awareness could be a sign of an issue.

Pay attention to children who do not seem to be aware of their body’s position in space. Children who stand too close to others, frequently bump into objects or fall to the floor may have issues or difficulties that can be remedied by occupational therapy.

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