Special Education Services & Supports » Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

          (L-R) Shelly McBryar, Deirdre Collins, Glynda Savage, Morgan Meadows, Rhonda Harper

School-based occupational therapy (OT) is designed to enhance the student’s ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment. School-based occupational therapy is a related service as defined under 300.34 of The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)  Part B and is provided to students who meet criteria for special education services under Special Education Rule 13 160-4-7-.05, Eligibility Determination and Categories of Eligibility (GaDOE, 2021). School occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are contributors within the education team. They support a student’s ability to participate in desired daily school activities or “occupations.” Occupational therapy is provided at schools only when it is related to educational needs. Occupational therapists help children to fulfill their role as students by supporting their academic achievement and promoting positive behaviors necessary for learning (AOTA, 2016).  In addition to providing direct occupational therapy services (or instead of), an occupational therapist may provide consultation to a child’s educational team (teachers, paraprofessionals, other therapists, and parents).

 

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (2016), occupational therapy practitioners have specific knowledge and expertise to increase participation in school routines throughout the day. Interventions include:

 
   
  • Conducting activity and environmental analysis and making recommendations to improve the fit for greater access, progress, and participation

  • Reducing barriers that limit student participation within the school environment 

  • Providing assistive technology to support student success 

  • Addressing sensory, cognitive, and motor needs 

  • Offering instructional strategies for ongoing implementation in the classroom 

  • Preparing students for successfully transitioning into appropriate post–high school employment, independent living, and/or further education 

  • Training, collaborating, and administering resources to school personnel and families  

 

Occupational Therapists for the Glynn County School System include

 

Rhonda Harper (Lead OT)

  • Serving schools: Glynn Middle, Risley Middle, Jane Macon Middle, Satilla Marsh Elementary, Glyndale Elementary, Altama Elementary, Sterling Elementary
  • Email: rharper@glynn.k12.ga.us
                                      
Morgan Meadows (OT)

 

Glynda Savage (OT)

  • Serving schools: Golden Isles Elementary, Goodyear Elementary, Brunswick High School, Glynn Academy, Coastal Academy, Morningstar
  • Email: glynda.savage@glynn.k12.ga.us

 

Deirdre Collins (OT)

 

Shelly McBryar (COTA)

  • Serving schools: Leaps and Bounds, Golden Isles Elementary, Greer Elementary, Satilla Marsh Elementary, Glyndale Elementary, Risley Middle, Needwood Middle
  • Email: shelly.mcbryar@glynn.k12.ga.us

 

References:

 

Occupational Therapy’s Role with School Settings. (2016). American Occupational Therapy Association. https://www.aota.org/About-Occupational-Therapy/Professionals/CY/school-settings.aspx

 

Occupational and Physical Therapy. (2021). GaDOE. https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/Occupational-and-Physical-Therapy-.aspx