Occupational & Physical Therapy

        Image is of the NW BOCES OT/PT Team
Occupational Therapy

woman and boy in wheelchair playingOur NW BOCES occupational therapists (OTs) provide services to some special education students, when necessary to enhance the students’ potential for learning and to facilitate the performance skills needed to function within the education system.  Occupational therapy provided in the school must be educationally relevant.  The OTs work collaboratively with a student's IEP team and participate in screening, evaluation, program planning, and intervention.  Therapy services may be delivered in an individual or small group setting.

OTs work with students to develop the following skills:

  • Gross motor skills
  • Fine motor/visual motor skills
  • Play skills
  • Self-help skills
  • Sensory processing skills
  • Access skills, including transition from one activity to another
  • Transition skills (work/college readiness/independence)

Physical Therapy
One exercise for fine motor skills might be for kids to pick up items with tweezers. To help with hand-dominance, kids may practice cutting out things with scissors. To build gross motor skills, kids may do jumping jacks, catch balls of different sizes, or run obstacle courses.

NW BOCES physical therapists (PTs) work
collaboratively with a student’s IEP team to improve student access and participation in school settings.  They assess students with known or suspected physical delays.  PTs evaluate, plan and provide therapy to eligible students.  Physical therapy provided in the school must be educationally relevant.  The focus of educational physical therapy is to promote functional independence or participation with in the educational environment.

Our PTs are independent contractors working on an itinerant basis, depending upon need.  PTs often work closely with the occupational therapist; their services complement each other. 


OT vs PT: What's the Difference?

The most basic difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy is that a PT focuses on improving the student's ability to move their body whereas an OT focuses on improving the patient's ability to perform activities of daily living.

Parent Resources

Colorado Department of Education

Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation

Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports (STARS)

Professional Resources 

American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)

Skill Sheets by Sandbox Learning

S'cool Moves

List of places to purchase OT Equipment

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.