GPAEA Recognizes Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants for Vital Role in Area Schools

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Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Jennie Adkins with a Fort Madison student.


As the educational landscape continues to evolve, Great Prairie Area Education Agency (GPAEA) acknowledges the indispensable contributions of its Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) in supporting students' holistic development. Occupational Therapy (OT), a specialized support service catering to students from birth to 21 years of age in educational and/or home settings, is pivotal in enhancing students' abilities to engage meaningfully in their academic pursuits and daily activities.

OTs and COTAs within GPAEA collaborate closely with school personnel, parents, and interdisciplinary teams to assess, evaluate, and provide targeted interventions to address students' unique needs. These professionals develop tailored goals and accommodations through an integrated service model to foster students' growth and maximize their potential.

One of the distinguishing features of OT in educational settings is its emphasis on adapting materials, methods, and environments to create inclusive learning environments conducive to students' success. By working alongside teachers and parents, OTs and COTAs offer invaluable insights and strategies to optimize students' participation and achievement.

"GPAEA is immensely proud of the dedication and expertise demonstrated by our Occupational Therapists and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants," said Dr. Angelisa Fynaardt, Assistant Administrator/Director of Special Education at GPAEA. "Their unwavering commitment to supporting the diverse needs of students ensures that every learner has the opportunity to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally."

The impact of OT extends beyond the classroom, encompassing various aspects of students' lives, including fine and gross motor skills development, sensory processing, self-care routines, and social-emotional well-being. Through individualized intervention plans, OTs and COTAs empower students to overcome barriers, build confidence, and achieve their full potential.

As GPAEA celebrates the invaluable contributions of its OTs and COTAs during Occupational Therapy Month, it underscores the agency's ongoing commitment to fostering inclusive and supportive educational environments where all students can flourish.

Photos: OT Photos