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Occupational Therapy in the Schools


Occupational Therapy in the Schools The Autism Connection Presenters: Kristin Denault, Colleen Ungurean Sheila Bott Clare Woods Academy A non-profit specialized ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Occupational Therapy in the Schools

Occupational Therapy in the Schools
  • The Autism Connection
  • Presenters
  • Kristin Denault,
  • Colleen Ungurean
  • Sheila Bott

Clare Woods Academy
  • A non-profit specialized school providing a
    nurturing, individualized curriculum, assisting
    students with special needs to maximize their
  • full potential.

About the School
  • 1. Located in Bartlett, Illinois
  • 2. Founded in the late 60s by the Sisters of
    Saint Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis
  • a. Converted part of their residence/community
    college into a school for special education of
    area children
  • b. First year enrollment in 1968 was 5 students
  • 3. A private, non-public alternative day school
  • 4. Educating special needs children/young adults

Our Students
  • Licensed for educating students ages 3 to 21
  • Currently the youngest student is 5 years old
  • With special educational needs in the areas of
    mental or emotional impairment
  • Clare Woods Academy is one of the only schools
    in Northern Illinois accepting students with such
    diversification of impairments
  • in one facility.

  • Students arrive from 51 communities across
    Northern Illinois
  • From all races, ethnic groups, religious
    denominations and economic/social classes
  • Current enrollment of 120 full time students
  • Through the years hundreds of students have
    attended Clare Woods Academy

  • Day school, not residential
  • 9 am to 3 pm
  • 176 days year (Illinois Law)
  • Core curriculum
  • Math, science, reading, language arts and social
  • Art, music, physical education, computer
    labs, library and health classes

Educational Departments
  • 1. Primary
  • 2. Intermediate
  • 3. Secondary/High School
  • 4. Vocational

Our Faculty
  • 1. Currently 85 staff for 120 students
  • One-to-one ratio often the norm instead of the
  • 2. Many have advanced degrees in education
  • 3. Many are certified in multiple areas of
    instruction and include specialists in reading
    and behavior.

  • The role of O.T at Clare Woods Academy
  • Special Therapeutic Interventions
  • Sensory Systems
  • Behavior Communications
  • Strategy Checklist
  • IEP Goals and Objectives

Occupational Therapy
  • Fine Motor
  • Handwriting Skills
  • Sensory Integration
  • Motor Planning
  • Oral Motor Functioning
  • Self-Help skills
  • Adaptive Equipment Environmental Modification
  • Environmental Adaptations
  • Play/Socialization

Behavior Communication
  • Look at all behaviors as a form of
    communication !
  • The behavior chosen is helpful to the child,
  • that is why it is chosen.
  • Stereotyped behaviors lower cortisol (stress
    hormone) levels.
  • Behavior only reflects the amount of

Special Therapeutic Interventions
  • Wilbarger Protocols
  • Listening Therapy
  • Brain Gym /Educational Kinesiology
  • Therapeutic Yoga
  • Handwriting without Tears Program
  • Mary Benbow Cursive Program

Wilbarger Protocol
  • The Wilbarger Protocol (Wilbarger, 1991) is a
    specific, professionally guided treatment regime
    designed to reduce sensory defensiveness. The
    Wilbarger Protocol has its origins in sensory
    integration theory and has evolved through
    clinical use. It involves deep-touch pressure
    throughout the day.

Listening Therapy
  • Benefits children 2 and up with Sensory
    Processing Difficulties
  • Therapeutic Listening uses special electronically
    altered music and sounds to impact multi-sensory
    processing and integration.
  • A typical listening program will require 2-3
    modulated CDs, a portable player and special

Brain Gym
  • Brain Gym is used by teachers and therapists in
    programs for children with developmental and
    learning difficulties.
  • Brain Gym is a series of activities that uses
    simple body movements to exercise the two sides
    of the brain.

Therapeutic Yoga
  • Yoga works on the whole body
  • All ages and physical abilities
  • Ideal way to enjoy movement and exercise
  • Promotes strength, endurance, flexibility and
    improves balance.
  • Teaches children how to relax and concentrate

Handwriting Without Tears
  • The goal of Handwriting without tears is to make
    legible and fluent handwriting an easy and
    automatic skills for all students. The curriculum
    uses multi-sensory techniques and consistent
    habits for letter formation to teach handwriting
    to all students.

Mary Benbow Kinesthetic Approach to Cursive
  • Cursive handwriting is a kinesthetic skill taught
    by reinforcement on the feel of the motion.
  • The 26 letters of the alphabet are reduce to four
    main groups determined by their lead in strokes.
  • All activities are giving information to the
    skin, joints, and tendon receptors that guide
    correct letter formation while having FUN.
  • Essentially all children learn better using
    kinesthetic techniques.

Sensory Diet
  • A sensory diet is a planned and scheduled
    activity program designed to meet a childs
    specific sensory needs.
  • Wilbarger and Wilbarger (1991) developed the
    approach to provide the just right combination
    of sensory input to achieve and maintain optimal
    levels of arousal and performance the nervous

Team Approach
  • Parent
  • Teacher
  • 11 Assistant
  • Speech Therapist
  • Occupational therapist
  • Social Worker
  • Physicians

Combined Effort will Provide the Greatest
  • The important thing in science is not so much to
    obtain new facts as to discover new ways of
    thinking about them.
  • Sir William Lawrence Bragg

Sensory Integration
  • The process of organizing and interpreting
    information for use.
  • Most learning occurs first through the sensory
    system then the cerebral cortex
  • Neurons must be stimulated to form connections
    making pathways.

Sensory Systems
  • Tactile
  • Vestibular
  • Proprioceptive
  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Olfactory

Just a Thought
  • Do what you can with what you have where you are.

Tactile system
  • The tactile system receives information from
    receptor cells in the skin

Tactile Dysfunction
  • Characteristics
  • Hypo sensitivity to touch
  • Exhibits delayed or no response to input
  • Craves input/ touches everything
  • Poor body awareness
  • Messy eater

Tactile Dysfunction
  • Characteristics
  • Over sensitivity to unexpected or light touch
  • Exhibits fight or flight response
  • Dislikes messy activities
  • Picky eater
  • Dislikes bathing, teeth brushing or hair cuts.

Vestibular System
  • Definition
  • Vestibular system is responsible for integrating
    information relating to movement , gravity,
    balance and space.
  • Provides information about movement, gravity, and
    the changing head position.
  • Tells us where we are moving and how fast.

Vestibular Dysfunction
  • Hypo sensitivity Characteristics
  • Craves input bump and crash
  • Thrill seeker
  • Constant motion
  • Enjoys inversion

Vestibular Dysfunction
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Intolerant of movement
  • Over reactive to slight changes in position
  • and feet leaving the ground.
  • Dislikes physical activities
  • Motion sickness
  • Fails to protect self from falling

Proprioceptive System
  • Definition
  • The unconscious awareness of your body position
    giving us information necessary to coordinate
  • Information from muscles, joints, tendons and
    ligaments about movement and body position.
  • Receptors communicate how much force is necessary

Proprioceptive Dysfunction
  • Characteristics
  • Problem with gravity and movement
  • Poor sense of body awareness
  • Bump and crash against people or objects
  • Breaks toys or classroom supplies
  • Stomps while walking
  • Pulls or plays with clothing

  • Childhood visions of a magic machine was my
    search to satisfy my damaged nervous systems
    craving for tactile input!
  • Temple Grandin

Oral Motor
  • Hypo sensitivity characteristics
  • Food stuffers
  • Eating non food objects
  • Crave spicy foods
  • Biters
  • Chew clothing

Oral Motor
  • Hypersensitivity characteristics
  • Poor speech
  • Picky eaters
  • Not aware of spillage
  • Avoid textures
  • May not chew food before swallowing

Gustatory System/Oral Input
  • Suggestions
  • Alerting Cold, sour/tart, spicy, mint, crunchy
  • Organizing chewy foods granola, licorice cheese,
    suckers and gum.
  • Calming suckers, hard candy, Popsicles, water
    bottle, vibration and any blowing toys such as
    bubbles, pinwheels and whistles.

Visual System
  • Definition Visual Perception is defined as the
    total process responsible for the reception and
    cognition of visual stimuli.(Zaba, 1984)

Visual Dysfunction
  • Characteristics
  • Overreact to harmless objects coming toward him
  • Difficulty locating objects
  • Hypersensitivity to light
  • Minimal eye contact
  • Squinting

Fine Motor Development
  • Foundation Skills
  • Development of hip trunk stability
  • Shoulder girdle stability
  • Head control
  • Visual tracking

Visual Input
  • Suggestions
  • Printed schedules
  • Overlays
  • Solid / cool colors
  • Soft or Natural lighting
  • Highlight directions and lines
  • Slant Board
  • Increase font on worksheets
  • Visual timers, Schedules, PECS

Auditory System
  • Definition The ability to perceive, process and
    respond to sound.
  • Auditory Defenensiveness has been defined by the
    Wilbargers (1991,p.4) as oversensitivity to
    certain sounds and may involve irritable or
    fearful responses to noise like vacuum cleaners,
    motors, fire alarms, etc.
  • Hypo sensitivity Delayed auditory processing.

Auditory Dysfunction
  • Hypersensitivity characteristics
  • Appears overly sensitive to sound
  • Difficulty understanding you
  • Distracted by background noises
  • Covers ears to shut out sound
  • Hums, sings or self talks through a task
  • Difficulty following auditory directions

Now what..
  • Discovering the children's sensory needs..

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