The occupational therapy staff at Collier promotes student success in the school environment within the classroom and our expansive OT room. The OT room is a hybrid sensory gym/ classroom where students can choose calming deep pressure or alerting movement activities.
Students explore strategies to modify, strengthen, and/ or support the skills necessary to be a student. The occupational therapy room is centrally located within Collier’s campus in order to be accessible to students from each of Collier’s programs.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy helps people participate in their desired occupations with the therapeutic use of everyday activities, based on the individual’s personal interests and needs.
Occupational therapy (OT) considers the complex relationship between the individual, the activity, and the environment in which the activity takes place. Examples of OT interventions include:
● Helping a child with a disability to participate fully in school and social situations,
● Assisting an injured worker to regain skills they need to function in their job, or
● Providing support to older adults experiencing cognitive or physical changes.
OT helps kids play, improves their school performance, and aids their daily activities. It also boosts their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. With OT, kids can:
● Develop fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting or computer skills.
● Improve eye-hand coordination so they can play and do needed school skills such as bat a ball and copy from a blackboard.
● Learn positive behaviors and social skills by understanding and practicing how they manage frustration and anger.
● Get special equipment to help build their independence. These include adapted seating, personalized routines, and tools to promote focus.
At the end of the day, the main goal of occupational therapy is to enhance an individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks to improve their daily life. Occupational therapy helps people to better respond and process the information relayed to them through their senses.
Who Can Benefit From Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy will look quite different for each individual, but it can benefit people with a wide range of disabilities. OT in the school setting can help kids and teens who have:
● Birth injuries or birth defects
● Sensory processing disorders
● Learning problems
● Mental health or behavioral problems
● Developmental delays
● Hand injuries
● Attachment difficulties, difficulty planning, organizing, and completing tasks
Occupational therapy skills take time to learn, and the skills are solidified with more practice. Consistent occupational therapy routines can greatly increase the physical and cognitive ability of kids and teens and that is why Collier is proud to have a dedicated occupational therapy team to help all our students.
What Does Occupational Therapy entail?
Occupational therapy focuses on the person’s goals and typically include:
● An individualized evaluation, administered by the student’s district, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
● Customized interventions to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals
● An outcomes re-evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapy may also include recommendations and guidance and education for family members and caregivers.
Collier High School/ Middle School and Kateri Occupational Therapy Team
Please consider reaching out to our gifted occupational therapy staff with any questions you might have.
Kate Van Oosterhout, OTR/L
732-946-4771 ext. 258
Courtney Kaylor, COTA/L
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
732-946-4771 ext. 258