Occupational therapists play a significant role in supporting students with SLDs, and may provide services at any and all stages of the identification and therapeutic process.


Many schools engage Occupational Therapists to conduct fine motor and/or visual processing screening in the early years, to identify students who would benefit from further assessment of their academic and motor skills. As occupational therapists are skilled in conducting thorough assessments of pencil grip and control, drawing, handwriting (quality, speed and endurance), and visual processing skills using valid and reliable measures; they are able to diagnose motor-based disorders that impact on learning (such as developmental coordination disorder), and may contribute to the diagnosis of SLD's by referring on to a Psychologist to further investigate the child’s cognitive functioning.

Furthermore, occupational therapists can provide targeted and specific intervention to improve handwriting and written expression, editing, visual recall strategies for reading and spelling and the development of typing skills to enhance literacy skills and to allow for increased engagement with the classroom curriculum. Occupational therapists monitor progress to determine response to intervention and adjust therapy accordingly. Finally, an occupational therapist can play an important role in advocating for the needs of students with motor-based and literacy difficulties and disorders across academic and social contexts. 

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