Much has been written about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 students, with the sudden change to remote learning, disrupted routines, social isolation and more. For special education students, the impact of disrupted routines has been particularly difficult, as children with special needs do best in a structured environment, and their structure abruptly disappeared.
Compounding those issues, children with special needs have gone without in-person therapy services during the pandemic. As a result, these children most likely have experienced some regression in skills levels. To address this setback, at School Based Therapy Services we’ve developed a summer remediation program for our school districts to help children recover lost skills and get back up to speed, prepared for school in the fall.
We’ve designed the remedial program to develop fine motor, gross motor and visual perceptual skills, and to improve sensory processing and handwriting. We can offer this occupational therapy in a group setting for an entire class, or for a small group of children, or even on a one-to-one basis, as needed, to help the children recover the skills they may have lost. Participation is not limited to students with an IEP; general education students are welcome to enroll as well.
We will tailor the program to your district’s unique needs. Options include, but are not limited to:
- A 30-minute integrated program twice weekly within each self-contained class;
- Occupational therapy camp for two weeks, two hours per day; or
- Individual compensatory sessions.
A module for a preschool disabled student might include:
- Sensory preparation movement activities to improve academic readiness.
- Ocular-motor skills and visual scanning activities.
- Prewriting lines and shapes, structured OT-based handwriting program.
- A letter of the week.
- Homework to enhance skill acquisition.
Samples of Remedial Tools and Activities
We will employ a variety of tools and activities in our summer occupational therapy program to help children recover skills they may have lost during the pandemic shutdown. Here are some examples.
A therapist might use this activity to help children understand the concept of self-regulation. A child is taught to compare their body to a car. If a child is too active, their engine is too fast. Or if a child is feeling too lethargic or inattentive, their engine is too slow. When a child is focused and attentive, they are ready to learn, and just right. [click here]
Here is a sample of some exercises a child might do as a warm-up before beginning table top activities like handwriting instruction. We might laminate this sheet and tape it to a child’s desktop as a reminder of steps they can take to feel “just right” and ready to learn. [click here]
This sample includes a pre-writing activity and an ocular-motor task, all in one. While holding the pencil in an efficient, dynamic tripod grasp, a student will accurately connect the dots, one by one. In doing so, their eyes will learn to track horizontally across a page, similar to when reading. [click here]
If you think students in your district – general education as well as special education – would benefit from some skills remediation work this summer in preparation for school this fall, contact us and let’s discuss your specific needs.