School Readiness – Role of Occupational Therapy

School Readiness – Role of Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapists support families and teachers to incorporate appropriate exercises and
strategies in daily routines to help develop good school readiness skills. This is to help children to
have an easy transition into the school environment. In some situations occupational therapists
also support the school to make adaptations in the school environment to allow children equity
with their peers.
Occupational therapists are trained to identify if a child has deficits in one or more of the following
areas and to help a child develop and improve those skills.
fine / gross motor skills
overall body strength/ motor planning/ coordination skills
prewriting, drawing and writing skills and grasp pattern
pretend play/ social play and narrative skills
cognitive skills / visual perceptual skills,
organizational skills,
independence in self-care,
self-regulation /concentration /sensory processing skills
ability to access and participate in all areas of learning
These are some tasks that are in general required from children when starting kindergarten which
occupational therapists can help to develop:
writing name/ recognizing numbers/ counting/ number value up to 10
ability to draw people/family
cutting along lines and cutting out shapes
knowledge of concepts e.g. prepositions, shapes, opposites, colors
independent self-help skills for dressing, eating, managing lunchbox, toileting, personal
ability to concentrate and complete tasks independently
ability to communicate with other children and the teacher
problem solving skills for tasks and social interactions
copy and plan motor movements, follow instructions
manage own emotions including frustration/ anger
follow instructions in a structured environment and understand rules
ability to play and interact with cooperatively with other children
To locate your nearest Occupational Therapy click on this link