Rachel Medrek - Occupational Therapist

Welcome to OT!

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy (OT) is an allied health profession.  Occupational Therapists work with individuals across the lifespan in a wide variety of settings in the community to help them engage in the occupations of daily life. A child’s occupations include playing and going to school among others.Occupational Therapists use meaningful activities to help individuals to reach their full potential and achieve their goals. Occupational Therapists work with individuals to help them address physical, psychosocial, and cognitive deficits. In short, Occupational Therapists treat the “whole person”. Occupational Therapists help individuals to develop, “Skills for the Job of Living."

 

The Role of Occupational Therapy in Schools

School-based Occupational Therapists work with students in the school setting to help students develop some of the skills they need in order to access the educational curriculum. 

In the school setting, Occupational Therapy focuses on the areas of:

  • Fine Motor Skills (Using hands to complete functional tasks such as holding a pencil, fastening a paper clip)
  • Visual Motor Skills (Using eyes and hands together to complete tasks such as cutting and writing)
  • Sensory Processing Skills (Taking in information from the environment through the senses of smell, sight, touch, sound, taste, movement and body position and forming a response to the sensory input.)
  • Self-Regulation Skills (Being in control of one’s body and ready to learn, attending to a task, following instructions)
  • Social Skills (Greeting and interacting with others, turn taking, being a good friend)
  • Activities of Daily Living (Feeding, dressing, hygiene). 

Together with the interdisciplinary team, Occupational Therapy can help students to achieve their educational goals.

Resources:

 Fine Motor Development Strategies for Families

Playdough Recipe

Tips for Building Play Skills from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Tips for Choosing Toys from the American Occupational Therapy Association

Tips for School Success from the American Occupational Therapy Association

 

Rachel Medrek, MS, OTR/L, the Occupational Therapist at Andover Elementary School, can be reached at:

 medrekr@andoverelementaryct.org or (860) 742-7339 x205.