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How Occupational Therapy supports ECE and Schools

Occupational therapy is a powerful tool that helps students to identify their unique abilities, learn new skills, and succeed in school and beyond. Connecting Together is a New Zealand-based company that offers a range of supports, including assessments and teacher trainings, school programmes and presentations designed to help schools integrate occupational therapy in a positive and effective manner.

One of the key benefits of occupational therapy in school settings is that it focuses on identifying and building upon the abilities of each student. Occupational therapists work collaboratively with students, families, and teachers to identify areas where a student might need support and to help them build skills in those areas.

We are also developing OT in school for a Day, where if a school has need for OT support for a few students, we can come in for half a day or a full day and assess, observe, provide intervention or strategies to support the schools in supporting the students and families. This is a new feature to Connecting Together OT.

Connecting Together's school programmes and presentations are designed to help schools integrate occupational therapy in a way that is effective and sustainable. Here are some tips and guidelines for schools that are considering working with Connecting Together:

1. Emphasize potential: Rather than focusing solely on areas of need, occupational therapy emphasizes the potential of each student. By working with students to identify and build upon their abilities, occupational therapists can help them feel more confident and capable. 2. Foster independence: Occupational therapy promotes independence by empowering students to make decisions and take control of their own learning and development. Occupational therapists work with students to help them identify their goals, develop plans to achieve those goals, and monitor progress towards them. 3. Collaborate with families and teachers: Occupational therapy is most effective when it is integrated into a student's entire support network. Occupational therapists work collaboratively with families and teachers to develop a plan of action that is tailored to the unique needs of each student. 4. Focus on engagement and participation: Occupational therapy focuses on promoting engagement and participation in activities that are meaningful and relevant to each student. By focusing on what students enjoy and find meaningful, occupational therapists can help them develop a sense of purpose and motivation. 5. Monitor progress: It's important to monitor progress regularly to ensure that the interventions being used are effective. This might involve regular assessments, progress reports, or meetings with parents and caregivers. By tracking progress, occupational therapists can make adjustments to interventions as needed and ensure that students are making progress towards their goals.

By working with Connecting Together to integrate occupational therapy in a positive and effective manner, schools can help students develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed academically and socially. With a focus on potential and engagement, occupational therapy can help students to thrive both in school and beyond.

Poroporoaki hoki inaianei,

Melissa Walker-Tate (Occupational Therapist).

Connecting Together Ltd.

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