10 ways occupational therapy can help your child at school

For our children, being a school student is often their main occupation.  Learning and developing in this space leads to a time of discovery and intrigue for our children, however it can also be a source of challenge for some. The aim is to determine how your child can thrive within both the learning and social environments school presents.

Our occupational therapists can work collaboratively with your child’s teachers to facilitate a productive learning environment. This can be done via email, phone call or even video calls to provide strategies to support your child.

We can create personalised recommendations for the classroom to enhance your child’s:

  • Regulation and attention
  • Environmental needs in the school space
  • Positive behaviour support.

A collaborative approach between your teachers, the school and occupational therapist ensures the team surrounding and supporting your child are all working in sync for a consistent and predictable environment to thrive.

Portable sensory packs for regulation

To start with, a great way to promote regulation and support your child’s success and comfort at school, is to build your own portable sensory pack. When we feel regulate, our ability to focus and concentrate increases. Sometimes to regulate though, children need an increase in sensory input.

Some things we recommend including within this pack to increase sensory input are:

  • Smelly stickers
  • Squishy balls
  • Fidget toys
  • Noise cancelling headphones
  • Zones of regulation charts
  • Glitter stick
  • Balloons.

The key here is to make this as easy and accessible as possible so getting a large pencil case with a few zips that will fit inside their backpack is a great start. You may even have some of these things lying around your home that will make for the perfect little kit that will work wonders.

Here’s 10 ways occupational therapy can help your child at school:

  1. Providing regulation strategies for the school space
  2. Understanding their arousal levels and how to support this
  3. Visual schedules to maintain attention
  4. Implementation of sensory diets to keep your child feeling calm
  5. Social skill strategies, and stories to help build confidence
  6. Ideas towards reducing demand and increasing academic engagement
  7. Fine motor skill strategies which are important for success at school with drawing, cutting with scissors and doing up their own buttons and zippers
  8. Gross motor skill strategies that are necessary for stable posture at their school desk as well as recess and lunch time activities like skipping, running, and catching balls.

Our OTFC Group Occupational Therapists can help teachers and parents better understand and help children succeed with everyday activities.

It’s important to note that not all children will benefit from each of these suggestions, especially in a classroom setting. Our occupational therapists work one on one with your child’s school and teachers to tailor a plan and activities to best suit your child.

We’d love to chat more with you about this if you think your child could benefit.

OTFC Group are based across three locations Adelaide CBD, Mile End and Parkside.

Influencing Lives. Creating Possibilities. Making a Difference

OTFC is a South Australian clinic-based service that is centrally located and services children and adolescents from birth through to 21 years of age both locally and nationally. Dedicated to providing a client focused approach where children and families feel validated in their concerns, supported in difficult times, encouraged to be proactive and inspired to facilitate change.


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