Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Occupational Therapy -- methods; School Health Services
Occupational therapists have engaged in school-based therapy practice since the 1970's when the Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) was enacted to provide a free public education for students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. Since law mandated related services, occupational therapists have the opportunity to service students in all grade levels. However, over the course of time, most therapists gravitated toward servicing the student under the age of twelve. As a result, few therapists have devoted their full attention to meeting all the challenges of secondary level students with disabilities, especially for transitioning of students into the community. A literature review of occupational therapy practices reveals much uncertainty in the assessment selection process, documentation procedures, meeting assistive technology needs, service interventions, and familiarity with transition concepts of planning. To meet this need, a person-centered occupational therapy high school transition assessment checklist (OTHST AC) guided by the Ecology of Human Occupation Model was developed and serves as an assessment guideline, listing a variety of appropriate occupational-based assessments suitable for the school and community settings. OTHSTAC incorporates best practice principles based on occupational-based models. A focal point is to appraise student skills within their environment, assist with future plans, and strive for successful integration into the community. An appendix supplies a listing of contact information for obtaining the assessments, tools, and outcome measurements. The scholarly project also provides in-service training material to support school-based occupational therapists looking to broaden their knowledge and explore options in transition services. The inservice materials provide the rationale for occupational therapy's involvement in the transition planning; reviews current transition literature; follows assessment guidelines; facilitates problem solving; supplies transition strategies; and supp011s creation of occupational therapy services to guide students in obtaining their transition goals.
DiSilvestro, Ann B., "Occupational Therapy: A Vital Link to Transition Success of High School Students" (2009). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 202.