Help the Child with ASD Progress in Their Motor Skills

Join faculty members Bethanne Mazurczak and Leslie Paparsenos for this dynamic three part LIVE webinar ASD: Improving Motor and Speech/Language Outcomes for Function

During this three-part webinar, participants will have the opportunity to learn multidisciplinary and discipline specific assessment and treatment strategies based on the NeuroDevelopmental Treatment – Contemporary Practice Model (NDT-CPM) for children with ASD. The faculty will review how to help the child with ASD progress in their motor skills for coordinated movement activities and speech and language development.
As the course progresses, faculty will highlight current research that supports the significant connection the cerebellum has to children with ASD, and how that information can help with problem solving and treatment strategies needed with this population.

ASD: Improving Motor and Speech/Language Outcomes for Function will be offered as a live webinar on April 11, 13 and 18. View details of this course to learn more and to register.

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Current Promotions and Special Offers!

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Attend and Save!

All registrants who attend one of ERIs live webinars or in person courses will receive an exclusive coupon that can be used toward a future course registration. And the great added bonus is that this discount can be shared with your colleagues! 

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$15 Certificate For First Time Registrants!

Must be redeemed by phone, fax, or mail.
Discounts apply to open enrollment courses only, not lab courses, and not for online courses. Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits. Non-Transferable. Must be applied at the time of registration.

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Registering for your 4th ERI course?
Save $100!
Available to previous full-paying registrants of live courses taken since January 2012.
Must be redeemed by phone, fax, or mail.
One-day and online courses are not included in this program. Not to be used in combination with other discounts or course credits. Non-Transferable. Must be applied at the time of registration. Subject to Availability. Exclusions may apply.

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Now Available! Therapies in the School 22nd Annual Conference – Online Conference 8

Congratulations to our community of school-based therapists who have almost made it through another challenging school year. As we continue to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are re-imagining what participation and performance will look like for school-aged children and how our support today impacts each student’s long-term outcomes in life.

 You can now enjoy at your convenience our latest annual conference that integrates what we have learned during COVID with our pre-COVID best practices: Therapies in the School 22nd Annual Conference – Online Conference 8.

Therapies in the School 22nd Annual Conference-Online Conference 8 was recorded at ERI’s 22nd Annual Therapies in the School Conference which took place virtually in November, 2021. The virtual conference was attended by hundreds of therapists across the country with sessions taught by Melissa Gerber and Josephine Bardabelias; Susan Cecere; Jan Hollenbeck; Joanne Szabo; Barbara Connolly and Tim Richmond. 

Therapies in the School 22nd Annual Conference – Online Conference 8, an on-demand continuing education conference for school-based therapists and professionals, provides a multitude of thought-provoking interventions and tools to help the children on your caseload as well as efficient ways to interact with other professionals in the school system.

Courses range in content from evaluating school participation; awareness of self in space; visual skills, motor skills and school performance; the impact of your decisions on long term outcomes and more!  When you purchase this conference, you’ll receive over 18 Contact Hours for only $399 (total of individual courses valued at $853)!

Here’s what other therapists have said about ERI’s 22nd Annual Therapies in the School Conference:

“Thank you for this conference geared specifically for school-based therapists…we are a rare breed and I so appreciate having continuing education that is applicable to our unique setting!” – R. Dolan 

“I am so eager to use the treatment ideas to promote body awareness, stability, motivation, confidence, and improved independence throughout the school day and beyond. I learned so many incredible tools to carry with me and it was presented in a fun and caring manner.”  – K. Bersuch

Therapies in the School 22nd Annual Conference – Online Conference 8:

 – Perfect for Professional Development Days

 – Easy-to-Access, Convenient, Online Format

 – Access to Course(s) and Handouts for an Entire Year

 – $399/Person for Entire Conference

 – Earn up to 18.5 Contact Hours (1.85 CEUs)

 – Significant Group Discounts Available

Register now! Group rates are available ($44/person up to 9 additional participants [CEU certificates] when you purchase one full conference/$399). Please share this learning opportunity with your colleagues and staff!  

For questions or to register a group, contact ERI at or 800-487-6530.

Spotlight on Concussion Management and the Latest Research

Join Christina Finn, Ed.D, OTR for this engaging two part LIVE webinar: Management of Persistent Post Concussive Symptoms: What’s the Latest Evidence? 

Therapists working with individuals ranging from school aged children to older adults who may have sustained a concussion as a result of a fall, MVA, sports injury or other accident, will find this course extremely helpful as it relates to the latest research on the diagnosis and management of concussion and persistent post concussive symptoms. 

Over the years, Christina has worked extensively with individuals with visual difficulties as a result of brain injury, concussion, and other neurological conditions. In this course, she will guide the therapist by offering informed, evidence-based, and effective treatment strategies to improve visual skills, balance, and
sensory integration for optimal return to daily tasks post-concussion. 

Management of Persistent Post Concussive Symptoms: What’s the Latest Evidence? will be offered as a live webinar on April 8 – 9. Register for this course or view other listings offered by Christina Finn. 

Mark your calendars for even more adult courses being offered in April!

Vestibular Rehabilitation: Evaluation and Management of Individuals with Dizziness and Balance Disorders – Richard Clendaniel

Limb Loss and Amputee Rehabilitation:  Evidence-Based Strategies Across the Continuum of Care – Inger Brueckner

Functional Cognitive Intervention and Acute Care: From ICU to Acute Rehab – Joan Toglia and Chelsea Steinberg

Neuromuscular Facial Retraining: Successful Strategies for Challenging Cases – Gaye Cronin

Ambulation, Activity and AFOs: Addressing the Ankle to Improve Gait and Function – Amanda Hall

ICU and Acute Care Update – Chris Wells

Like what you see and want to learn more? Contact us today for more information about adult therapy courses available to you. 

Guide to School-Based Occupational Therapy as a Career

what is school-based occupational therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is a treatment that helps people with an injury, disability, illness or chronic pain find purpose and independence in their lives. This therapy typically includes developing or regaining the necessary skills for everyday tasks, activities and routines, though the specific roles and responsibilities can vary. Occupational therapists can specialize in numerous settings like rehab facilities, mental health clinics, outpatient clinics, schools, hospitals, clients’ homes and more. 

The purpose of OT in school settings is to help students fully access their education and the benefits it offers. Read on to learn more about a school-based occupational therapist role, the specific job duties involved and what skills you’ll need for the position.

What Is the Role of an Occupational Therapist in Schools?

Occupational therapy in schools is primarily focused on supporting students, helping them build the skills to actively and successfully participate in the school environment. Rather than teaching core curriculum classes like science or reading, occupational therapists work on building skills like:

  • Fine and gross motor skills.
  • Sensory processing.
  • Social skills.
  • Vocational skills.
  • Environmental modification.
  • Seating and positioning.
  • Rest and play.
  • Attention and concentration.
  • Executive functioning.
  • Self-care skills.

School occupational therapists often team up with the special education team of school psychologists and counselors, teachers and speech-language pathologists, as well as the parents and caregivers. These professionals work as a team to address deficits that can negatively impact a student’s education.

Job Duties of a School-Based Occupational Therapist

To help students be their best, occupational therapists must first identify areas for improvement and what deficiencies are present, if any. 

Occupational therapists start by determining if a child is eligible for OT services and the best way to help them. The therapist uses various assessments, interviews and questionnaires to assess their skills, sensory processing and more. When a student shows signs that they’d benefit from occupational therapy, the occupational therapist will work with the student’s teachers and team to establish a plan and goals.

Documentation and data collection are another large part of occupational therapy in schools. It’s crucial to document your students’ progress so you can recognize successes and narrow down areas for more improvement. As an occupational therapist, you’ll document a student’s ability to handle their personal materials and needs, maintain organization, navigate various areas of the school, use necessary technology in the classroom, write and draw legibly and more. These notes will help you track progress and make adjustments as needed. 

Push-in Services vs. Push-out Services

School-based occupational therapy only occurs within the school setting. Depending on the student’s needs, occupational therapists will deliver either pull-in or push-out services. 

In push-in services, the occupational therapist is part of the general education setting. This arrangement lets them assist multiple students at once, providing accommodations and feedback in live learning situations. Push-in services are a great way for occupational therapists to collaborate with teachers and provide the tools and resources they need to continue skill development.

Pull-out services are a bit more in-depth and personalized. Here, the occupational therapist will pull the student out of the general education setting for individual or small group instruction. Occupational therapists also build and collaborate on individualized education plans, which they can address and modify more easily with one-on-one consultations. 

Goals for School-Based Occupational Therapists

School-based occupational therapy goals typically involve ways to help students accomplish tasks related to fine motor skills, writing, communicating, sensory processing and self-regulation and care. For example, you may be working with a student who has difficulty with the fine motor skills necessary for cutting and holding the scissors correctly. One goal you set for this student might be to cut out at least three out of five simple shapes with smooth edges, using minimal assistance and guidance. 

Skills Required for Occupational Therapy in Educational Settings

skills required for occupational therapy in educational settings include communication, collaboration, patience, organization and creativity

Because school-based OT varies from other occupational therapy settings, you’ll need specific skills to help you succeed in the position. Some of the most important skills for a school occupational therapist include:

  • Communication: The ability to communicate clearly with students, teachers and parents is essential. Open communication with students provides clarity and encouragement, and lets you set well-defined tasks and goals. Strong communication skills are also necessary for updating teachers and parents.
  • Collaboration: It’s important to remember that occupational therapists work closely with a team of other professionals to ensure students are reaching their full potential. Collaboration ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards a shared goal.
  • Patience: Students may feel frustrated or even defeated at times. It’s important to have patience and be understanding of your students’ feelings. A positive attitude and reassurance can go a long way.
  • Organization: As we mentioned earlier, documentation is a large part of an occupational therapist’s responsibilities. With a high number of cases and notes for each of them, parents, teachers and other professionals rely on you to stay organized.
  • Creativity: Working with younger kids often requires a certain level of imagination and creativity. Students may get discouraged performing the same activities without noticeable progress. In these cases, it will be up to you to come up with new activities and instructions.

Benefits of Being a School Occupational Therapist

School-based occupational therapy is an extremely rewarding career, and there are numerous reasons to pursue it. While each occupational therapist has parts of the job they like the best, here are some popular benefits of being a school occupational therapist:

  • Variety: School occupational therapists have a lot of variety in their days. From different age groups to different ability levels, each day can involve something different. 
  • School working hours: Because school-based OT services take place within the school setting, the hours are similar to those of a teacher. Occupational therapists typically work during the day and have weekends off.
  • Helping kids: A school setting lets you watch the kids you work with grow. You often get to work with the same kids year after year, giving you the chance to see their progress and celebrate their successes with them.
  • Collaborative environment: As a school occupational therapist, you’ll work with numerous people. In addition to seeing students, you’ll be collaborating with teachers, counselors, aides and parents to create effective plans.
learn more about school-based occupational therapy with CEUs from ERI

Learn More About School-Based Occupational Therapy With CEUs from ERI

Whether you’re interested in beginning a school-based occupational therapy career or advancing your current knowledge, there are many educational resources and options available to you. Consider how CEU courses from ERI can advance your career and improve your patient outcomes. With virtual and live learning opportunities, ERI can teach you effective techniques through hands-on practice and acclaimed instructors. 

Founded by therapists for therapists, ERI provides convenient and progressive courses to allow you to improve your career. Contact us today for more information on occupational therapy courses and how you can get started.