Lower School Matters

Rachel Wright

Occupational therapists are skilled in working closely with families and teachers to address any early childhood challenges with motor skills, social skills, and self regulation. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School will host a brief workshop for parents entitled "Navigating Developmental Needs Within the Academic Environment" on Tuesday, February 7 at 8:15 am. Ashley Civello, MA, OTR, of Theraplay Associates will bring her 18 years of pediatric occupational therapy experience to offer insight and strategies for STA families. Parents will gain a better understanding of which struggles are a typical part of development, and which may require the support of therapy.

"Occupational therapy can help kids with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; kids, after all, do not have occupations. But a child's main job is playing and learning, and occupational therapists can evaluate kids' skills for playing, school performance, and daily activities and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group. According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with someone's physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect functioning in different ways. This approach makes OT a vital part of health care for some kids." (http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/occupational-therapy.html)