May 26, 2023 by HCDE Communications
On Thursday, May 25, more than 70 school-based occupational therapists joined presenters Katrina Erickson from Learning Without Tears and Therapy Services Manager Amy Collins in a hybrid workshop titled “Dysgraphia: What OTs Need to Know.”
Dysgraphia, an emerging “hot topic” in education, is a disorder characterized by handwriting difficulty. Collins is Therapy Services’ resident “expert” on the subject and has presented on the topic at state conferences.
During the hybrid event, Erickson and Collins defined dysgraphia, shed light on the components of legibility, identified handwriting needs using the “Screener of Handwriting Proficiency” assessment, and discussed intervention strategies for success for occupational therapists (OTs).
The workshop also served as a recruitment opportunity for the School-Based Therapy Services division, a standard-bearer in the field, which aims to hire at least 10 more occupational therapists for the 2023-2024 school year.
“Teachers go to school and learn how to be teachers. OTs go to school to learn how to be therapists in hospitals and clinics. There is a smaller percentage of occupational therapists who work in school-based practice. So that’s what Therapy Services does,” said Carie Crabb, senior director for HCDE’s School-Based Therapy Services. “We mentor new therapists and then go into the classrooms with them to teach them how to do school-based practice. The training and mentorship we provide is unmatched. That’s why districts rely on us, and that’s why our therapists stay with us.”