Degrees and Certifications:
Welcome to my homepage! I am a graduate of Colorado State University and have been an Occupational Therapist since 2000. I have worked within the hospital setting, early intervention/ home-based pre-school therapy, and I have been with the WCSD since 2012. I currently serve Sherman Elementary, Ohio St. School, Watertown High School, Faith Fellowship, and IHC.
What is School-Based Occupational Therapy?
School-based OT is geared towards enhancing the student's ability to fully participate and be successful in the learning environment. Areas that we may work on include working on handwriting or fine motor skills so the student can complete written assignments, helping the student organize himself or herself in the environment, and working with the teacher to make classroom modifications and/or adapt learning materials to facilitate successful participation.
- The provision of school-based Occupational Therapy is governed by federal and state laws. Therapy is a related service to special education and is provided only if the child needs therapy to function in the educational setting.
- How are therapy needs determined?
- The need for therapy is determined by the IEP Team. Parents are a part of this team. The team determines the amount, frequency and duration of therapy — not the physician alone. However, a prescription for therapy services is necessary as per NYS Educational Law and the National Certification Board for Occupational Therapists.
- What does Occupational Therapy address?
- Fine Motor Skills: Fine motor skill utilizes hand and finger muscles to manipulate small objects.
- Tactile Perception: Tactile perception is the ability to distinguish various objects through touch and pressure.
Vestibular Perception: Vestibular perception is the child’s perception of movement due to the inner ear being activated and the position of the head being changed. Vestibular stimulating activities must be done with caution and calmly so as to prevent the child from falling or bumping head. Children who are non-verbal may not be able to tell you if they are hurting so be cautious.
Proprioception: Proprioception is kinesthetic or body awareness which provides information to the child from inside the body from the muscles, ligaments, and joints. These are especially helpful for children who have low muscle tone and who are not able to be sure where their body is in space. They are in need of heavy work activities, which involve heavyweight for the body to carry.
Motor Planning and Equilibrium: Motor planning is the student's ability to organize, plan and then execute new or unpracticed fine motor or gross motor activity; equilibrium is the student's ability to maintain balance when shifting positions.