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Schools are the third largest employer of occupational therapists (OTs) in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Occupational Therapists have the distinctive ability to observe the child in their natural context of the school, a place where children participate in a variety of activities (Benson et al., 2015). The problem is that there continues to be discrepancies in the understanding and utilization of OT services in the school setting that affect the perceptions of both OTs and teachers regarding the OT role in school, and general service provision (Bolton & Plattner, 2020; Seruya & Garfinkel, 2020; Truong & Hodgetts, 2017).

The purpose of this capstone project was to analyze perceptions of both OTs and teachers regarding the OT role in school, and service provision. An interview was conducted to gather these perceptions. Participants consisted of 20 OTs. It was concluded that the roles and responsibilities are understood by school-based Occupational Therapists, but there is a lack of knowledge by some teachers on the scope of school-based OT practice. There is a need for improved OT service delivery in the school system as well as a need for more school-based OT. A broadening of the realm of school-based OT practice to include mental health and social emotional functioning would also be of benefit to the practice. In addition, there is a need for improved education of school-based OT provided to OT students while in school. Furthermore, Pull-out service were perceived to be the most effective and beneficial method of school-based Occupational Therapy service delivery.

Publication Date

Fall 12-10-2021


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

School Health Services, Occupational Therapy, Attitudes, Occupational Therapists


Educational Administration and Supervision | Occupational Therapy


Poster presented at the Fall 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, December 9-10, 2021.

Role of School-Based Occupational Therapy Practitioners: Perspectives from Teachers and OTs