Occupational Therapy is one of many related services that support the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and service agreements. The purpose of this particular related service is to enhance or facilitate the functional performance of our students with identified developmental delays or disabilities within the school setting. The OT may address fine motor, gross motor, sensory-motor skills that are impacted or deficient due to developmental delay in the student's overall functional abilities through direct intervention with a student. More specific intervention plans may encompass the development, adaptation of or maintenance of a student's strength, coordination, balance, attention/focus, visual-motor, perceptual-motor, fine motor, gross motor, sensory-motor, self -regulation and activities of daily living skills. Occupational Therapy intervention is also provided as Support to Preschool (SPP) or School Aged Personnel (SSP). In this model, OT may provide their educational team members, including the parent(s), with student specific treatment plan information in forms of home/school suggestions, recommendations, resources, video/pictures, homework and/or home programs to enhance carry over of necessary motor and sensory programming.

Currently, the CAIU program employs 21 Occupational Therapists (OT) and two Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) working across Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and Northern York Counties. Each OT has a diverse caseload of students that may encompass either Preschool Services (3 -5 years old) or School Aged Services (5-21 years old). Each of the Occupational Therapists work in various preschool or school locations throughout the region. They may service children in their CAIU classrooms, community based programs, districts or as an itinerant.

Occupational Therapy addresses an individual's performance in their "occupations", or in this case, the student's ability to perform in their school settings: play skills, social skills, self-regulation skills, transition skills, handwriting, etc. To be able to be successful, a student must possess the physical, emotional, psychological and social components of each of these school skills. OT's are skilled in task analysis; the practice of breaking down an activity into smaller components. This is helpful in that the OT can then provide support, make adaptations to or modifications of these specific components for the mastery of the required skill for school function. OT's also possess specialty knowledge in sensory processing; the neurological process that organizes sensation from one’s own body and the environment, thus making it possible to use the body effectively within the environment. Specifically, how a student processes multiple sensory modality inputs such as proprioception, vision, auditory system, tactile, olfactory, vestibular system, interoception, and taste into usable functional outputs.

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The CAIU OT's have created their own wiki space pages that provide our parents with a useful & comprehensive communication resource. Locate your child's OT by searching the list of CAIU Occupational Therapists & Assistants on this page. Click on their name to learn more about them and find resources for your child.

If you need further support in navigating this page, please contact at 717-732-8400, extension .