Cheney School District

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Occupational Therapy

What kind of concerns would indicate a need for OT in the schools?

  • The student's oral, listening, and reading language level is significantly better than  his/her written output.
  • Motor aspects of written expression have not responded to the special education intervention program.
  • Student has not responded to special education intervention program in areas of fine motor, eating, self-help, and handwriting skills.
  • Student displays clues that responses to tactile or other sensory systems interfere with learning.
  • Student has difficulty chewing and swallowing such that safeness of lunch or snacks are in question.

Occupational therapy (OT) is an important support service for many students in special education.  The school therapist works with students with a variety of needs.  OTs work on postural control for good sitting posture, fine motor skills to develop the student’s use of hands, and visual motor skills to develop the student’s use of hands, and visual motor skills to develop eye-hand coordination for better handwriting in school.


OTs also provide sensory stimulation program to improve the student’s body awareness and behavioral organization for better ability to pay attention and sit still.  Any special education student who has difficulties in the areas of handwriting, cutting, attention and activity level, use of arms and hands, or self-care may be referred for an OT screening.  The OT screening will determine the need for OT evaluation.  If an evaluation is necessary, the registered occupational therapist will evaluate the child to determine the need and eligibility for OT services.  OT can only be provided as part of the IEP (Individualized Education Program) after an evaluation has been completed

Contact us: 
Julie Carstens, OTR/L, at (509) 559-4536 or by email: jcarstens
(Serving:  Betz, Salnave, Cheney Middle School, Cheney High School)
Amy Wagner, at (509) 559-4507 or by email: awagner 
(Serving: Sunset and Windsor Elementary's)
Susan LaBarre, email: