Eddie hits a head switch mounted on his wheelchair and moves from one classroom to the next to deliver mail. Ashley now accesses her communication device more successfully since the screen has been repositioned.
These students’ occupational therapists have worked with them to make these activities possible. Occupational therapy’s role at HMS school is to support the educational program by helping to maximize each student’s level of functioning within the classroom, at home and/or out in the community.
OT staff work with students on making the curriculum accessible through adaptations made to the educational materials and to the classroom environment. They provide continued evaluation and modification of appropriate switch access for control of communication devices, computer programs and environmental control units and power wheelchair mobility.
Additionally, the occupational therapists provide functional vision assessment and treatment, address other sensory concerns and monitor orthopedic status to determine the need for functional and positional splints. Occupational therapists at HMS also help promote the student’s active participation in activities of daily living and provide evaluation and with procurement of adapted toileting and bathing equipment along with beds for home and school.
Occupational therapists work as part of the multi-disciplinary team to maximize the student’s level of independence. The emphasis is placed on the student’s interests, his or her role as student, friend and family member and providing meaningful experiences to improve his or her quality of life.