What is Occupational Therapy?
AIM Academy Occupational Therapists (OTs) have specific knowledge and expertise to help children perform school-related activities and daily routines to fulfill their roles as students. AIM's OTs use a holistic approach when assessing student's performance across a broad range of skills through participation in individually designed activities and supported work on classroom assignments. They also assist our students with many tasks, including executive functioning skills, written work, number sense, visual spatial skills, and use of assistive technology. AIM's Occupational Therapy Department was recently one of three organizations in the area selected to partner with nationally-ranked Thomas Jefferson University's Occupational Therapy Department as a Promoting Environments that Measure Outcomes (PrEMO©) site.
- Lower School Occupational Therapy
- Middle School Occupational Therapy
- Upper School Occupational Therapy
Students improve classroom performance by practicing skills including: cutting with scissors, handwriting, copying from the board, and maintaining attention during activities. Students also frequently work on classroom projects during OT sessions to enhance executive functioning skills including: planning, organization, typing, and editing. Students may also be introduced to assistive technology as needed.
Occupational Therapy plays a key role in supporting students as they transition from the Lower School to the Middle School by focusing on the development of executive function skills such as organization, planning and time management. As students are provided with increased independence, OTs help them and their teachers to identify and address individual strengths and challenges and to create individualized goals and strategies to promote student accessibility to the curriculum. In addition to addressing executive function skills, Occupational Therapy facilitates the use of assistive technologies on student laptops. OTs also address areas such as: self-regulation and attention. OTs collaborate on a daily basis with students, teachers and parents to promote student learning, success, and independence in the classroom.
During their high school years, students are expected to become more independent learners and consumers. In occupational therapy, students learn to develop strategies to become more self-reliant when encountering challenges in both school and community activities. Students participate in activities that focus on the development of executive function skills, such as prioritization and planning, task initiation and self advocacy. Occupational therapy is also individualized for each student to work on additional skills such as: writing and organizational support, consumer math abilities, and preparing for the transition to higher education. Occupational Therapists at AIM collaborate with teachers on a weekly basis to provide recommendations and resources to use in the classroom for the carry-over of skill development.