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Occupational Therapy

Within the Easterseals Western and Central Pennsylvania's Linda Lanham Zeszutek School Program, occupational therapists (OTs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs) help students facing physical, cognitive, or developmental challenges that affect their school performance, socialization, and health. The occupational therapists’ goals are to help children participate as independently and productively as possible so that their experience in school is a satisfying one. 

School-based occupational therapy assessment and intervention focuses on certain broad areas:

  • Self-care skills (caring for self-needs such as eating, dressing, and toilet habits)
  • Education (achieving in the learning environment)
  • Play (interacting with age-appropriate toys, games, equipment, and activities)
  • Social participation (developing appropriate relationships and engaging in behavior that doesn't interfere with learning or social relationships)

Specific skills targeted by occupational therapy include sensory processing and integration needs, fine motor control and coordination, visual-perceptual and visual-motor skills, all related to the broader areas listed above.
Our OTs and COTAs provide therapy both individually and integrated into the classroom and also in groups that may be co-facilitated by other classroom team members such as teachers, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists.  Examples of these groups include Handwriting Without Tears and Sensory Motor groups.

Occupational therapists, in conjunction with speech-language pathologists, also address the therapeutic feeding needs of students. Individualized interventions are developed to maximize functional eating and drinking skills. For further information on this area, please see Therapeutic Feeding.

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