Have a Question

Contact NDSEEC

Email: ndseec.info@k12.nd.us

1305 9th Avenue South
Fargo, ND 58103

Phone: 701.446.3170

Fax: 701.446.3176

Occupational and Physical Therapy

What is occupational and physical therapy in school?

Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists in the educational setting focus specifically on assisting students in accessing and participating in their education. OTs and PTs use a variety of activities to help students develop skills, use compensatory strategies, and modify the equipment and/or environment. Collaboration and education of school personnel is also done to best meet the needs of the students. Below are examples of the activities/areas therapists can assist with in the educational setting.

The SEEC works with rural districts and special education units to collaborate and find a way to meet the occupational and physical therapy needs of its students. Currently SEEC works closely with South Valley Special Education Unit and Rural Cass Special Education Unit which together serve 15 districts: Central Cass, Enderlin, Fairmount, Fort Ransom, Hankinson, Kindred, Lidgerwood, Lisbon, Mapleton, Milnor, North Sargent, Northern Cass, Richland, Sargent Central and Wyndmere.


Occupational Therapy

Participation in the Classroom

  • Pre-requisite skills for handwriting and cutting tasks (arm and core strength,
    visual motor skills, finger dexterity, etc)
  • Transactions (from on task to the next)
  • Accommodations to assist with skills needed for academic success (sensory processing,
    attention, emotional regulation)

Mobility in School

  • Safety
  • Following routines
  • Carrying Supplies (lunch tray, backpack, books, etc.)

Daily Routine Skills

  • Putting on and taking off outdoor gear (boots, coat, etc.)
  • Fasteners
  • Restroom Hygiene
  • Lunch and snack (eating with utensils & opening containers)

Life Skills

  • Social Skills
  • Job Participation
  • Community Interaction

Physical Therapy

Participation in the Classroom

  • Sitting at a desk or in a chair
  • Transfers (sitting to stand, chair to floor, etc.)
  • Balance (sitting, standing, reaching, etc.)

Mobility in School

  • Transitions
  • Safety
  • Stairs, managing doors, wheelchair mobility
  • Endurance and balance

Daily Routine and Life Skills

  • Balance and coordination
  • Accessing and maneuvering in the lunch room
  • Accessing and maneuvering on school bus
  • Community mobility
  • Job Participation

Playground and Physical Education Skills

  • Accessing the playground equipment
  • Walking, running, jumping, skipping, hopping
  • Ball Skills

Occupational and Physical Therapists strive to help children participate to the best of their abilities with their peers in the most appropriate and least restrictive environment.