• Occupational Therapy


    School-based occupational therapists work with other professionals to assist children with disabilities to access their education.

    As a part of the Exceptional Children's Department of the Asheville City School System, occupational therapy practitioners focus on a child’s ability to perform in the following areas: 

    • Personal Care(feeding, toileting, dressing, hygiene, managing personal belongings, personal organization); 
    • Student role/Interaction Skills (following protocols & routines in the classroom, specials, campus, bus, cafeteria; exercising safety awareness; respecting the space/time/materials of others; negotiating relationships with peers & staff); 
    • Learning academics/Process skills(following demonstrations, copying models, carrying out verbal directions, attending to instruction, using classroom tools, completing assignments); 
    • Play (turn-taking, imaginative play, sharing materials, exploring new play ideas/opportunities); 
    • Community Integration/Work(fieldtrips, school-related vocational training, community mobility); 
    • Graphic communication (handwriting, keyboarding, drawing, producing artwork).

    Occupational therapy (OT) is a related service under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), intended to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education. OT is a supportive service. If a child has a disability, as defined by IDEA, and needs special education and related services to meet unique learning needs, then he/she might be eligible for OT services.

    The child must be eligible for special education before being considered for OT services in the schools under IDEA. Referral for an OT evaluation is a team decision.  Eligibility for special education does not mean automatic eligibility for related services, including OT.

    Occupational therapy practitioners intervene with students by providing direct service (one-on-one or in groups,) consultation, and monitoring based on the student’s goal plan.  Therapists may help make modifications to a student’s environment, activities, or assignments in order to increase participation.  Intervention occurs in the student’s least restrictive environment, which usually means integrating therapy into the student’s classroom schedule or daily routine.



    Occupational Therapy Staff:

    Lorraine Bernhardt



    Sandra Bruns



    Christina Howard (COTA)



    Friday, October 22, 2021  5:36:42 AM