SOAR Occupational Therapy Clinic

The SOAR Occupational Therapy Clinic is a community based clinic focused on providing occupational therapy evaluation and treatment that serves early elementary children who are scoring significantly below benchmarks in literacy skills. Common diagnoses include ADHD, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Referral sources include teachers and principals. The focus of the SOAR clinic is to increase literacy skills. Through evaluation, SOAR helps to determine each child’s potential for success in the school setting and throughout their academic career. Intervention is designed to address underlying issues that impair engagement in literacy curriculum. This clinic implements treatment plans and provides direct occupational therapy treatment during and after school program and during school.

The role of the OT interns, under supervision of the OTRL, includes providing in-depth evaluation and designing client-centered intervention directed toward improving school performance. Interns are guided in developing client-centered and occupation-based intervention plans supported by appropriate theoretical approaches and empirical evidence. Interns also establish a strong therapeutic relationship based upon client-centered principles and guided by the theoretical concepts from sensory integration, neurology and child development, and the model of human occupation. Interns also work with teachers to learn the curriculum and to understand the classroom demands. Interns are expected to create treatment tools/materials and to problem solve the complex issues that thwart occupational success in early elementary students. Child development, social issues, assessment administration, writing reports, meeting with student's parents and teachers, and working in environments where flexibility is required are all part of this clinical experience.

Client evaluation process

The evaluation is scheduled over two three-hour sessions and consists of visual motor, visual perceptual, sensory motor, and fine motor standardized assessments as well as informal evaluation of emotional and social needs.

Client Intervention process

Intervention is scheduled for 30 to 45 minute sessions, twice weekly. Intervention is designed to improve skills in visual perception, sensory processing, and visual motor skills. The end goal of OT treatment includes teacher support in providing sensory opportunities in typical classrooms, supporting teachers in understanding the outcomes of OT assessments as related to the classroom demands, and to provide students and parents with greater one-to-one support and materials to enhance occupational success.

By the end of the semester it is expected that students will have developed the following basic competencies regarding working with for children with significantly low literacy scores:

  • Evaluation and intervention process

  • Building therapeutic relationship and therapeutic use of self

  • Developing client-centered and occupation-based intervention plan supported by appropriate theoretical approaches and empirical evidence

  • Providing intervention directed toward improving school performance in all literacy core benchmarks

  • Implementing one-to-one and small group intervention