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Boston College Campus School

Occupational Therapy

boston college campus school

Campus School occupational therapists provide treatment individually and in small groups of students to develop function in four specific skill areas:

  1. Fine-Motor Abilities: Coordination of movements and movement blends to promote functional hand use for classroom tasks.
  2. Visual-Motor/Sensory-Motor Abilities: Directing hand and body movements using sensory information from the eyes, sense of touch in the skin, and sensory feedback from the muscles.
  3. Self-Care Abilities: The performance of personal management skills that are part of daily living such as dressing, feeding, hygiene, and toileting.
  4. Oral-Motor Abilities: Safe and pleasurable eating and efficient handling of secretions.


All therapy is guided by the principles of sensory motor integration: the processing and organizing of sensations to maintain optimal arousal and attention for learning and for performing functional tasks.

Occupational therapy (OT) goals are designed in collaboration with the parents and the child's team. Individualized goals are embedded within each student's classroom routines to maximize opportunities for practice of targeted skills. Twice per week, the child's occupational therapist works alongside the teachers and all of the students in the class on a group activity. One group session addresses the students' goals through fine-motor/visual-motor activities. The other group session, OT/PT group, addresses the students' goals through gross motor group activities.

Students who are learning to taste or eat food/drink liquids by mouth work individually with therapists, usually within the classrooms, until the intervention strategies can be carried out by the classroom staff. Oral treatment addresses both sensory-based and motor-based feeding difficulties. Student participation in mealtime routines is an essential component of each program. Self-feeding is developed through methodical collaboration with the teaching staff and families. Family training occurs at home or in school, according to student/family needs.


An important aspect of the OT program often involves prescription and fabrication of adaptive equipment and upper-extremity orthoses. Thermoplastic hand splints are fabricated either at the Campus School or at local rehabilitation departments, depending on student need and parent preference. Therapists also prescribe and fit hand splints that are prefabricated by outside companies. Therapists monitor the use of these orthoses and collaborate with the classroom staff and parents on wearing protocols.

When appropriate, with parental permission, the Campus School occupational therapists collaborate with outside medical and educational professionals who may contribute to the child's physical well-being and educational development. The Campus School occupational therapists provide training for all staff in the areas of mealtime safety, hand skill development, dressing skills, feeding skills, hygiene skills and toileting skills. Occupational therapists also instruct all staff in the application of principles of sensory-motor processing to enhance learning. Therapists also participate in training students from the Boston College Lynch School of Education, as well as occupational therapy students from outside universities.