Dear Parents / Guardians,
Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! This letter is to inform you that the School Therapy Occupational Therapy (OT) Program will be at Southern Kings Consolidated this school year. Occupational Therapists (OTs) are regulated health professionals who work with children in many different settings and know a lot about motor development, sensory processing as well as environmental set up, adaptations and accessibility. OTs support students in schools with participating in
- Personal cares: bathroom routines, putting on and removing outdoor clothing and footwear, clothing fasteners (e.g., snaps, zippers, buttons, shoelaces), opening and closing lunch containers, feeding self, etc.
- Classroom and school routines: transitioning between activities or spaces within the classroom or school, organizing and locating school materials, participating in classroom routines, participating in Phys Ed, library, music, recess, and playground activities, etc.
- Learning-based activities: using classroom tools (e.g., scissors, pencils, glue stick, learning manipulatives, etc.), expressing learning through cutting, colouring, drawing, printing, cursive writing and using technology, self-regulation with respect to focusing attention and starting work in a timely manner, etc.
- Managing sensory demands of a school environment: managing the sound of the bell and /or announcements, sounds and movement in busy corridors, echo in the gym, sounds during assemblies, lighting in the school, feel of learning materials, etc.
- Managing the physical environment: accessing spaces when using mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs, walkers, etc.), accessing appropriate classroom desk and chair heights, using flexible seating options and optimal learning spaces, using equipment for personal cares and technical access (e.g., change tables, lift systems, switches for environmental controls or communication devices), etc.
While at the school, the OT will be part of the school team and accessible to school staff as well as to parents/guardians. The primary focus will be on supporting students in their elementary school years (e.g., kindergarten to grade 6). However, the OT is available to consult with students in their junior high years if it is determined by the school, the OT and yourself, as parent/guardian, that an OT referral is needed.
The OT will spend time in many areas of the school (i.e., classrooms, gym, music, playground, etc.) and will observe students participating in their school activities. The OT will guide school staff in understanding how they can use activities within the classroom to help children with their motor skills and sensory processing. If the OT, together with your child’s teacher, notice your child is having difficulty in the above-mentioned areas the teacher will contact you to discuss making an individual referral to the School Therapy OT Program. If you have questions or concerns about your child in the above-mentioned areas, please feel free to contact the OT at Vernon River Consolidated as well as your child’s classroom teacher.
If a family doctor, pediatrician, or other health agency would like your child to be seen by the School Therapy, OT program, the referral request must be communicated to both you as well as your child’s school to start the referral process.
The OT with the School Therapy OT Program at Southern Kings Consolidated is Colleen MacPherson OT Reg.(PEI). She will be at Southern Kings Consolidated on Wednesdays. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school or Colleen MacPherson at email@example.com or (902) 326-2876.
Wishing your child a good school year,
OT Team with the School Therapy OT Program
Helpful Videos Provided by OT:
To view all videos, go to this link.
OT Tips for Sleep:
Sleep is essential for us to be our best during the day.
Did you know that the Public Health Agency recommends:
- 9–11 hours of sleep for children ages 5–13 years old
- 8–10 hours of sleep/night for children 14–17 years old
- 7-9 hours of sleep for people ages 18-64 years old
- 7-8 hours of sleep for people aged 65 years +
- Use dark curtains or place sheets on windows to darken bedroom
- Turn alarm clock away from you if it is too bright
- Take a warm bath before bed as this can help you relax
- Warm up bed sheets in the dryer if your bed feels too cold, however your room should be a cool temperature
- No screen time at least one hour before bedtime
- Listen to soft music or white noise such as a fan (which can be pointed away from you!)
- Try heavy blankets/quilts on the bed
- Use progressive muscle relaxation before bed.
- Avoid heavy meals too close to bedtime
- Enjoy some time out in nature during the day
- If pets are keeping you or your child awake, put them in another room during the night if possible.
- Try to keep your bedroom a work-free (and homework-free) zone, if possible.