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October 29 , 2007

The Occupational Therapist's Handbook for Inclusive School Practices


A great occupational therapist is a key success factor in your inclusive school—OTs are on the front lines every day, making critical decisions that help students access the curriculum and fully participate. This is the friendly, down-to-earth survival guide OTs need to deliver their important services effectively as part of an inclusive school team. Packed with practical guidance and tips, examples that relate directly to an OT’s daily practice, and first-person insights from seasoned OTs, this guidebook is key to helping students develop new skills in key areas, from motor skills and mobility to academic achievement and friendships. All new OTs should read this book before their first day in an inclusive school—and veteran OTs will find it invaluable for ensuring that supports are delivered in the least restrictive environment.

  • collaborate with other members of the school team
  • choose and use environmental, behavioral, social, and academic supports that help students succeed
  • stay focused on strengths and abilities rather than disability
  • use an RTI framework to deliver appropriate levels of support
  • match supports to students’ specific strengths
  • avoid “the Velcro effect” and support student independence
  • facilitate peer supports and friendships
  • resolve challenging behavior in gentle, positive ways
  • keep expectations high for all students

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Tools and checklists to help organize team meeting notes, choose student supports, define team roles and responsibilities, support participation of nonverbal students, presume competence, and more.
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