Children with disabilities often need additional support and services to help them succeed in the classroom. Some students with disabilities only require specialized instruction by a teacher to adapt the curriculum to that child’s needs. Other times, students receive specific related services to support classroom instruction.
BVSD offers a variety of such supportive services, which are determined to be necessary by a student’s IEP team and can include audiologist, registered occupational therapist, and physical therapist.
The Occupational Therapist (OTR) is a "related service" provider who supports the student's access to specialized instruction and the general curriculum. Occupational therapists work with students when motor skills interfere with their ability to participate in school and classroom activities when the area of need is not due to lack of instruction. OTRs help students improve specific skills and adapt to classroom demands. Specifically, the OT is concerned with a student's ability to perform in three areas: (1) work productivity within school environments, (2) self-care and (3) play/leisure. An OTR can help a student who has difficulty performing in any of these areas by analyzing and breaking down tasks, developing a new way of doing the task, adapting or modifying the task or environment, and/or practicing elements of the skill with the student. Occupational therapy is provided with a fluid combination of direct and/or indirect service. Direct service may be integrated into a large instructional setting (e.g. classroom, cafeteria, playground, gym), or provided within a smaller instructional environment. Indirect service/consultation may include monitoring student progress and/or recommending accommodations and modifications for targeted students. Occupational therapists work together with school staff and families to identify ways to change, adapt, modify, and use the school environment to optimize overall student performance. OTRs are required to have a valid national registration through NBCOT, a valid state registration through DORA, as well as a Special Services license through CDE.