dcsimg

Career Story: Occupational Therapist At A Suburban Elementary School

Occupational Therapist At A Suburban Elementary School

Job Title: Occupational Therapist

Type of Company: I work for a school district in a suburb of Boston.

Education: BS, Occupational Therapy, Quinnipiac College

Previous Experience: I worked at a Massachusetts state school for a couple of years and in private practice, as a contractor, for two more and later worked for five years at a rehabilitation hospital. I've held my current job in a school system for 21 years.

Job Tasks: I'm a registered, licensed occupational therapist currently working with students in grades K-5 and one of seven occupational therapists who work at local public schools. Most of the students who require our attention have disabilities like cerebral palsy and autism, but some have learning disabilities as well.

Students are referred to us by the school or their parents for an initial exam. This preliminary evaluation takes about 45 minutes and allows us to get a glimpse of students' functional skills: how they do in the classroom, that is. If we decide that they would benefit from therapy, we draft what we refer to as an "individualized educational plan," or IEP, to which their parents then have to consent. Services can be provided either in or out of class or on a consultative basis, with a teacher acting at the therapist's behest. The therapeutic activities we participate in are generally fun and aimed at helping students to complete their written work. And since we get to interact with children all day long, the job itself is pretty pleasant.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is working with children and involving them in stuff that they enjoy (like using putty or therapy balls).

The worst part of the job is completing the paperwork that is required by the state.

Job Tips:
1.) Occupational therapists can work in schools, nursing homes, acute care hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and psychiatric facilities, so it's best to find out which you like. 2.) Attend a college that's accredited in occupational therapy. Not all of them are. 3.) Make sure you have the pre-requisite courses you need (chemistry, biology, etc.)

Popular Schools offering Occupational Therapist Assisting Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Earn your degree or diploma on your schedule and succeed at Ashworth College.

  • Programs: Occupational Therapy Aide, Physical Therapy Aide, Substance Abuse
  • Degrees: Diploma, Coursework

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: Master of Science in Applied Psychology - Community Psychology
  • Degrees: Master

Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.

  • Programs: Physical Therapy Aide/Sports Rehab Program
  • Degrees: Certificate

Study at Wake Forest University, a university dedicated to educating the whole person since 1834.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health
  • Degrees: Master
Argosy University
Alameda, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Counseling Psychology (EdD), Counseling Psychology (MA), Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Grayslake, Irvine, Los Angeles

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
Intercoast Colleges
Anaheim, Fairfield, Rancho Cordova, Riverside, West Covina

Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.

  • Programs: Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies, Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies
  • Degrees: Certificate

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
  • Degrees: Master

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC), Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Degrees: Master

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Degrees: Doctorate
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Occupational Therapists, including:

Back to Top