Related Services - OT

Occupational Therapy (OT) At Newmark 

We use evidence-based practices to provide high quality therapeutic interventions to our students. The goal is to help children fulfill their role as a student through prevention, promotion and/or intervention strategies for mental and physical wellbeing.

Students work toward developing the necessary skills to help manage emotional regulation, sensory integration, executive function and fine/gross motor skills to maximize their participation and progress in their role as a student.

Developmental Functional Skills

Individualized services, provided to the students through group therapy, promote customized opportunities to

practice the skills they need in a supportive setting to ensure success. Skills are then integrated into the classroom through consultation and in-class services to support carryover of learned skills. 

Occupational Therapy, along with the rest of the Newmark team, aims to support the students’ needs in this way to allow for structured practice of these functional skills within the school setting. The goal is to guide the students through these developmental foundational skills in order to prepare them for whatever their future endeavors hold.


Newmark OT

At Newmark 

Occupational Therapy Services are provided by highly qualified, licensed and certified Occupational Therapists.

Building Foundational Skills

As Occupational Therapists, we strive to provide your child with the tools they need to thrive as a student.  Sometimes that means providing opportunities to practice a skill they will need in the classroom and other times it is supporting your child to develop a skill they have not yet developed.  Here are some of the foundational skills we focus on:

  • Sensory Processing – This is the process of the body taking information from the senses and the brain producing a motor or behavioral response.
  • Motor Planning - the ability to conceptualization a plan, take action, and receive and use the feedback in order to produce a coordinated response.  For example, if you are standing on the edge of a river and you need to cross it using the rocks you see.  You make a plan, take action, and adjust if you lose your balance.  That is motor planning.  
  • Executive function – The higher-level skills we need for self-control, attention, planning and organizing in order to complete complex tasks expected in the classroom. 
  • Visual motor – Coordinating the eyes and hands in order to do things like writing and typing or throwing and catching a ball. 
  • Fine motor - Small movements of the hand and fingers that enable us to do more refined movements.  These motor skills help us with tasks like handwriting and typing. 
  • Gross motor - Movements of the larger muscles in the arms, legs, and torso. These skills help us with balance and provide the stability we need for more precise mobility.  


Functional Living Skills - Setting The Table

The holidays offer many occasions for celebration, connections, traditions, time off from school and work, perhaps travel, and certainly fun.  Here are some tips from our Occupational Therapy department to help your child.

The holiday season is a great time to work on functional living skills.  Whether you are hosting a large gathering or having a smaller family meal together, setting the table can be a great way for your child to participate.  Although it may seem simple, setting the table requires multiple skills. For example, executive functioning skills such as sorting, planning and working memory are needed to gather the appropriate materials.  Gross motor, body and spatial awareness skills are needed to load and carry items from one place to another.  Grading force to gently place items on the table is another important part of setting the table.  Visual motor skills help to know where each item should be placed in relationship to one another.  Understanding that it takes such a multitude of skills to complete this routine task is helpful. It is something that needs to be directly instructed and modeled so your child can be successful. If we can be of any help, please do not hesitate to email the OT department with any questions.  


Food for Thought: What do ice cream sundaes and sensory processing have in common? 

We all have our preferences and make choices about what to add to our ice cream for the perfect sundae. Some people may prefer chocolate ice cream with sprinkles, while others may choose vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and whipped cream. Similarly, we all have individual sensory preferences that help us to remain regulated so that we may participate in our daily activities.  Every time we make a sundae, we do not necessarily make it the same way.  When it comes to seeking and/or avoiding certain types of sensory input, that also may shift and change.   


An Ice cream sundae has many choices just like the choices of sensory input:
  • Proprioception: Sense of deep pressure - jumping, weighted blanket 
  • Vestibular: Sense of movement - swinging, spinning  
  • Auditory: Sense of hearing - music, silence, alarm 
  • Visual: Sense of sight - lighting, colors 
  • Tactile: Sense of touch - fidgets, putty, different textures 
  • Olfactory: Sense of smell - aromatherapy, food 

We all seek out or avoid different types of sensory input regularly throughout our day.  Sensory strategies are things we can use or do to provide comfort, stimulation, or minimize sensory information.  Sensory integration happens when our sensory system is regulated and supports our emotional and behavioral regulation.  It is helpful to recognize the role that our sensory system plays in our overall ability to participate in our daily activities


Movement Path

Occupational Therapists help people of all ages develop the skills they need for success in everyday life where they live, learn, work and play.  Occupational Therapists use activities meaningful to a person's life to enhance physical and cognitive functions as well as overall mental health.  Routinely engaging in activities that contribute to their identity will increase their quality of life. 


Functional Living Skills

Being at home together creates a wonderful opportunity to teach and practice Functional Living Skills.

Children can make their beds, do laundry, help cook and practice crucial time management and organization skills as they engage in Remote Learning. This is a unique time where we can slow down and teach our families life skills that we normally might not have time to address.


Learning new things while staying home