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Contact Information

  • Tracy Balk
    Occupational Therapist

    Phone: (505) 831-0400 ex: 57808
  • Susan Crandall
    Occupational Therapist
    Phone: (505) 831-0400
  • Evan Hubbard
    Physical Therapist

    Phone: (505) 831-0400 ex: 57808
  • Danka Marshall
    Physical Therapist
    Phone: (505) 831-0400 ex: 57808
  • Sharon Provencher
    Occupational Therapist

    Phone: (505) 831-0400 ex: 57808

School Based Occupational Therapy

School occupational therapists (and occupational therapy assistants, under the supervision of the occupational therapist) support academic and non-academic outcomes, including social skills, math, reading and writing (i.e., literacy), behavior management, recess, participation in sports, self-help skills, and more. Because of their expertise in activity and environmental analysis, practitioners are particularly skilled in facilitating student access to curricular and extracurricular activities. They focus on the students’ strengths, and can design and implement programming to improve inclusion and accessibility. Additionally, they play a critical role in educating parents, educators, administrators and other staff members.

Occupational therapy practitioners have specific knowledge 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
  • Supporting the needs of students with signi´Čücant challenges, by helping to determine methods for alternate educational assessment and learning
  • Helping to identify long-term goals for appropriate post-school outcomes
  • Helping to plan relevant instructional activities for ongoing implementation in the classroom
  • Preparing students for successfully transitioning into appropriate post–high school employment, independent living, and/or further education

Occupational therapy practitioners are key contributors within the educational team. They help to address both mental and physical health. They collaborate with a variety of partners, such as:

  • Students, to help them to develop self-advocacy and self-determination skills in order to plan for their future and transition to college, career/employment, and community living.
  • Parents, to support their engagement with school activities such as attendance in individualized education program (IEP) meetings with cultural sensitivity, or to assist in homework management issues by monitoring stress levels and volume of work
  • Educators and other school support staff, to offer curricular modifications to support diverse learning abilities and to meet state learning standards
  • Paraeducators, to support child success and promote safety within the school environment.
  • Administrators, to provide training for students, staff, and parents.

Occupational therapy services for students with special needs are determined through the IEP process. School-based occupational therapy is available for students who are eligible for special education. When the IEP team determines that occupational therapy is needed in order for a student to meet his or her annual goals, then occupational therapy should be included in the student’s IEP. In some instances, students whose disability affects their participation in school but who do not qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), may be eligible to receive occupational therapy under other federal laws such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Occupational therapy practitioners help to promote healthy school climates that are conducive to learning. They offer other valuable services to meet broader student behavioral and learning needs, along with systemic needs, by addressing students’ mental health and participating in other school-wide initiatives such as positive behavior supports, response to intervention (RTL), and early intervening activities. In addition, occupational therapy practitioners are active participants in developing curriculums and programs; addressing school health and safety; identifying assessment accommodations and modifications; and developing violence prevention, anti-bullying, and other types of programs. In this capacity, occupational therapy practitioners support the needs of all students, including those without disabilities.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is the process of identifying, diagnosing, and treatment of movement problems. Physical Therapists help people maintain or restore as much function as possible. Physical function and movement are very important to:

  • Health, wellness, and fitness.
  • Managing pain.
  • Earning a living.
  • Independence.

Physical therapists design treatment plans specific to each person's needs, challenges, and goals. They work together with you to develop strategies and help you achieve your goals. Physical therapists and PTAs care for people of all ages and abilities.

This description of occupational therapy is presented by the American Physical Therapy Association through