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.

Please refer to the W2W example to complete the evaluation section:

The evaluation is scheduled over four two-and-a-half-hour sessions and consists of interview, standardized assessments, and structured observations of work-related behavior including skills in workplace socialization and task performance. While the primary focus of the evaluation is on client psycho-social factors, screens are also provided to identify issues that may impact work or independent living skills in the areas of gross motor and fine motor, visual motor integration, sensory motor, and sensory integration. The evaluation identifies strengths, needs, and potential related to independent living and employment and provides recommendations for services and interventions to prepare the client for the least restrictive living situation and for the recommended level of employment.

Students administer the following formal and informal evaluations:



Occupational Profile Interview

Worker Role Interview/OCAIRS


Assessment of Communication & Interaction Skills


Interest Checklist

Role Checklist

Occupation Self-Assessment

Performance Capacity/Self- Care/Independent Living Skills

Visual Screening

Functional Range of Motion (FROM)

Functional Manual Muscle Testing (MMT)

Balance and Equilibrium

Pinch and Grip Strength

Modified Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS)

9 hole Peg Test

Adult Sensory Profile

Independent Living Skills

Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration (Beery VMI)

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.

Please refer to W2W example to complete the intervention section:

Intervention is scheduled for two-and-a-half-hour, twice weekly sessions. Intervention is designed to improve independent living skills, communication and interaction skills, and vocational skills through participation in therapeutic social and task groups, one-to-one supervision during work activities and one-to-one sessions to target specific skill areas for the individual client. An individualized intervention plan is developed in collaboration with the client and any individuals identified as significant by the client. Although each client will have a specific focus of intervention, in general the IADL program emphasis will be toward developing skills needed to live as independently as possible with the least amount of supports in place. Skills will be developed in W2W with the expectation of immediate follow-through in the home environment. The VS program places emphasis on developing skills in work-behaviors including communication and interactions appropriate to the workplace. Through the therapeutic alliance with the OT and OT intern, clients will develop performance-based self-awareness essential to the process of realistic goal development and for guided self-improvement of work behavior and skills. Through the use of self-assessment tools and feedback from OT and OT interns, clients will learn compensatory strategies to improve performance at home and in the work setting. In addition to MOHO as the guiding theoretical structure, the following Frames of Reference/treatment approaches may be used to guide intervention: cognitive-behavioral, occupational adaptation, and Self-awareness Enhancement through Learning and Function. Additionally, the M. Cole 7-step format for group process is used to guide structured therapeutic groups.

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