Occupational Therapy

Our occupational therapists (OTs) provide a variety of therapeutic interventions to facilitate students’ ability to participate in activities of daily living (occupations) at school, home and in the community.

Activities of daily living include feeding, dressing, prevocational skills, and recreation. OTs collaborate with other therapies and teachers to provide suggestions for adapting activities, to increase our students’ ability to access the curriculum and participate in activities.

Student prepping meal on stove
Activities of Daily Living

Occupational therapists support functional independence and specialize in modifying and adapting self-care activities and equipment to improve participation and independence. Activities of daily living addressed in school include self-feeding, dressing, toothbrushing, hygiene, toileting, and handwashing. OTs also work on more complex ADLs, such as meal preparation, money management, and community access.

Prevocational Skills

Pillar Elementary School and Pillar High School offer many opportunities to work on prevocational skills in school and in the community. Our adaptive school store supports students in developing the social, cognitive, and motor skills needed for the future. Additional in-school jobs include delivering fliers, collecting recycling, and other organizational tasks. Occupational therapists also bring students into the community to work on prevocational skills in a realistic setting.

Student on indoor swing
Therapy Spaces
Sensory Integration Rooms

Our schools offer sensory integration rooms with specialized therapeutic equipment. This room contains a variety of equipment to target a child’s sensory systems e.g. swings (vestibular), therapy balls (proprioception), massagers (tactile), music (auditory), etc.

Individualized sensory diets are created by a student’s occupational therapist to support and integrate their sensory system in order to better participate in school activities.

Sensory Pathway

A sensory pathway is designed to stimulate and improve a student’s sensory systems, including that of sight, touch, and sound. This colorful and creative form of sensory play helps further develop motor skills like balance, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. This pathway can be used as an excellent “brain break” as part of a student’s sensory diet or utilized during speech, occupational, and physical therapy sessions as well as job coaching. The theme of our sensory pathway is community based, to help integrate safety awareness, social skills, and identification of important buildings, people, and signs within the community.

Student with strings of light
Vision Training/Eye Gaze Software

Visual and oculomotor skills are important for depth perception, balance, reading and writing, and activities of daily living. To support and strengthen students’ visual system lights, colored materials and eye gaze technology may be used.

Eye gaze technology allows students who may not be able to access a standard computer with the opportunity to engage in recreational and educational activities using their eyes.

Assistive Technology (AT)

Assistive Technology (AT) includes any item used to increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AT tools allow students to access the computer, music, recreational activities, and academics. AT may include specialized software programs and applications, alternate access methods (including eye gaze technology and switch access), and mobile touch technology (including iPads), along with mobility and daily living aids.

How to Help

Our supporters are critical to helping our schools to go above and beyond for our students. There are a number of ways you can help.