WHO PROVIDES OT
WHO PROVIDES OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY?
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury (AOTA, 1994). OT practitioners are broken down into two areas:
Ø Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR) has a Bachelors of Science degree, Masters degree or Doctoral degree in the area of Occupational Therapy. In order to become an OTR, one must successfully complete 6 months of supervised fieldwork study under another OTR, as well as, successfully pass a nationwide certification board (written assessment).
In the educational setting, OTRs are
v Responsible for all aspects of an OT program including completing initial OT evaluations using standardized assessment tools, establishing appropriate goals and interventions, assisting with the development of IEPs and 504 Plans, attending interdisciplinary meetings for annual review and initial classification of OT students, and maintaining accurate documentation and records relevant to OT services and state law.
v Responsible for assessment of an individual’s skills as related to their classroom environment to screen for the need of environmental modifications and/or assistive technology.
v Responsible for instructing or inservicing family and staff members on topics relevant to success in the academic classroom in order to provide knowledge on that topic or address a child’s specific needs or compensatory strategies.
Ø Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) has an Associates degree in Allied Health in the area of Occupational Therapy. In order to become an COTA, one must successfully complete 8 weeks of supervised fieldwork study either a COTA or OTR, as well as, successfully pass a nationwide certification board (written assessment).
In an educational setting, COTAs are
v Under the direct supervision of the Registered Occupational Therapist (OTR)
v Responsible for implementing treatment plans for individual and group intervention, fabricating and/or providing appropriate equipment, informing the OTR of changes in a child’s status/intervention, assisting in the development of goals and interventions, and attending interdisciplinary team meetings as designated by the OTR.
v UNABLE to evaluate students
RELATED LINKS (on this topic):
ü www.aota.org (American Occupational Therapy Association)
ü www.nbcot.org (National Board for Certification of in Occupational Therapy, Inc.)