Institute for Educational Development

Practical Evidence-Based Strategies and Interventions for Occupational Therapists Working in Schools

NEW Seminar Presented By Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L
Outstanding Occupational Therapist and Author

Specifically Designed for Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants Serving Students in Preschool-Grade 12

  • Dozens of practical evidence-based strategies for implementing the best practices in your busy school setting
  • Incorporate creative and fun strategies to promote functional visual skills
  • Learn how to design and fabricate dozens of innovative, inexpensive therapeutic activities to help moderately to severely involved students develop functional hand skills
  • Specific, ready-to-use ideas and activities for your students who struggle with sensory processing and attention issues
  • Discover low cost pre-vocational activities that will prepare high school students with developmental disabilities for employment
  • Demonstrations, models and a hands-on seminar complete with an extensive occupational therapy resource handbook filled with ideas and strategies you can use to strengthen your role as an occupational therapist or OT assistant

Practical Strategies

Especially designed for occupational therapists and OT assistants, this outstanding seminar will provide you with the tools to evaluate, write treatment objectives and design the activities that will help students with mild to severe disabilities develop functional and/or academic skills.

Experienced and highly innovative therapist, Barbara Smith, will teach you how to adapt the school environment and activities to motivate the most challenging students. Strategies include using a multi-sensory approach and sensory reinforcements. You will also gain ready to use strategies to help students who struggle with sensory processing, visual skills, handwriting, and attention span.

Based on her real-life experiences and using actual student examples, Barbara will discuss how to better support students of all ability levels. If you have students who are difficult to engage, you won’t want to miss this unique opportunity to learn NEW techniques and have a greater impact on the students and teachers you work with in preschool-grade 12. You will leave with an extensive occupational therapy resource handbook that will help you begin implementing these ideas as soon as you return to your school.

Ten Key Benefits of Attending

  1. Ready-to-Use Strategies to Strengthen Your Practice as an Occupational Therapy Practitioner in the School Environment
    Acquire a wealth of school-based intervention strategies to increase overall student functioning and learning in academic and non-academic school activities … Ideas that will work in a whole class, small group or with individual students
  2. Identify Methods for Improving Hand Function
    Identify methods you can use to help students with moderate to severe disabilities to improve grasp patterns, hand strength and manipulation skills in order to stabilize work materials, perform bilateral tasks and engage in sensory motor activities
  3. Best Teaching Strategies that Incorporate Sensory Components and Reinforcement
    Learn teaching strategies that incorporate use of sensory components such as music or vibration to increase engagement, and the use of sensory reinforcements to promote self-regulation and visual attention
  4. Fresh, Innovative Ideas to Expand Your Therapy Repertoire
    Expand your “bag of tricks” with adaptations, accommodations and interventions that range from inexpensive to free so that your teachers, administrators, students, and parents will integrate your suggestions into their daily routines
  5. Design Age-Appropriate Pre-Vocational Activities for Older Students
    Discover how to design, fabricate and adapt low-cost pre-vocational activities for high school students that meet their developmental learning needs and prepare them for employment
  6. Specific Evaluation Tools for Students of all Abilities
    Choose specific evaluation tools for students of all ages with disabilities ranging from mild sensory and fine-motor delays to profound multiple disabilities such as Rett and Angelman’s Syndromes … Learn to write functional and measurable goals for the most challenging students
  7. Assess the Classroom Environment
    Address the sensory demands of the environment to determine challenges for the student with sensory processing difficulty … Tips and techniques to promote a most suitable learning experience
  8. Optimize Fine-Motor Skills to Use Classroom Tools
    Optimize fine-motor success to write, use scissors, fold paper, and more with activity and environmental adaptations
  9. Incorporate Cutting-Edge Strategies to Increase Attention Span and Optimum Arousal States for Learning
    Fun, creative and innovative ways of promoting arousal and alertness … Sample exercises that provide movement plus enhance curriculum initiatives … Novel activities you can try with your students
  10. Receive an Extensive Occupational Therapy Resource Handbook
    Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook filled with the strategies and techniques discussed in the seminar that are ready to implement with your students

Specific Topics

Here's what you'll learn:
  • Dozens of practical evidence-based strategies to increase your effectiveness and efficiency as a school-based occupational therapist
  • How to expand your “bag of tricks” with adaptations, accommodations and interventions that range from inexpensive to free
  • Supports, adaptations and activities for students with functional vision challenges
  • Highly effective therapy techniques to promote self-esteem, motivation and function among your most challenged students
  • Multiple handwriting strategies you can use immediately
  • Effective teaching techniques to promote cognitive and motor skills
  • Age-appropriate pre-vocational activities for older students
  • The best evaluation tools for students of all abilities
  • Innovative methods to improve hand function
  • How to incorporate sensory components and reinforcement to motivate and engage students
  • How to design and fabricate activities that improve hand strength, grasp patterns and bilateral hand skills
  • Ways to help your students more efficiently use pencils, scissors and other classroom tools
  • Identify tips and techniques to address the unique needs of students with sensory processing disorders
  • Tips for writing functional, measurable goals
  • Hands-on examples and demonstrations of activities that promote motor planning
  • Best practices for using adaptive equipment and environmental modifications to enhance learning
  • Motivating, innovative and research-based ways for promoting arousal and alertness in the students on your caseload
  • How you can use your activity analysis skills to use an already existing classroom task and boost the benefit for your students
  • Exciting new activities that will energize and inspire therapists, teachers and support staff
  • How to decrease stress and anxiety in learning situations by providing appropriate modifications and/or adaptations
  • Multi-sensory strategies which address student deficits in visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic sensory systems you can implement immediately

A Message from Your Seminar Leader

Dear Colleague:

As an occupational therapist with over 25 years working in public schools, early intervention, collaborative, day habilitation programs, and even in a hippotherapy setting, I understand how young children need sensory-based movement activities to develop and learn. It has been my observation as a school-based occupational therapist that as our students grow up in a fast-paced world of working parents, on-line social networking, digital entertainment, and intense academic demands their creativity and sensory motor experiences often take a back seat in the order of priorities.

Occupational therapists can play an important role in reversing the trend toward a sedentary lifestyle by integrating gross and fine motor activities that promote sensory processing, postural stability and eye-hand coordination throughout the school day.

I believe that every student can learn regardless of his or her cognitive abilities, behavioral challenges or sensory needs. As occupational therapists, we have the unique opportunity to be creative and innovative in adapting environments and activities so that all students can succeed to the best of their abilities, beginning with the transition from early intervention into a preschool program and ending as the young adult transitions into an academic, vocational training, employment, or workshop setting.

My focus is on sharing the numerous activities and adaptations I have designed that are effective, inexpensive and fun. Because having fun is a critical aspect of all learning, be prepared for a multi-sensory experience that will activate your smile muscles. It is very rewarding and gratifying to know that you will be able to bring these ideas back to the team to implement and better serve your students.

Barbara A. Smith, MS, OTR/L

P.S. As a practicing therapist, I know just how valuable your time is, so my focus will be on practical strategies that you can implement immediately. Please dress comfortably and come prepared to participate!

Who Should Attend

Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants serving students in preschool-grade 12.

Special Benefits of Attending

  1. Extensive Resource Handbook:
    Each participant will receive an extensive resource handbook designed specifically for this seminar. Included in the handbook are:
    • dynamic interventions for you to implement with students
    • evaluation descriptions and a template to help you write evaluations and occupational therapy objectives
    • hands-on, practical tools for your “OT tool chest”
    • teaching strategies that incorporate sensory reinforcement
    • strategies to help students improve visual skills
    • directions to fabricate and use dozens of pre-vocational activities
    • techniques to improve handwriting and using classroom tools
  2. Meet and Share:
    This seminar provides a wonderful opportunity for participants to meet and share ideas for improving the effectiveness of their school-based occupational therapy programs.
  3. Consultation Available:
    Barbara Smith will be available at the seminar for consultation regarding your questions and the unique needs of your own occupational therapy programs.
  4. Semester Credit Option:
    Brandman University Logo Graduate level professional development credit is available with an additional fee and completion of follow up practicum activities. Details for direct enrollment with Brandman University, part of the Chapman University system, will be available at the seminar.
  5. Meet Inservice Requirements:
    At the end of the program, each attendee will receive a certificate of participation that may be used to verify hours of participation in meeting continuing education requirements.