Spotlight on Occupational Therapy

April is national Occupational Therapy month. At Strafford Learning Center we have twelve occupational therapists who work in twenty different schools and programs.As a department we provide quality services to 300+ students and their families.

Occupational therapy in the school setting has a focus on evaluating motor skills, sensory processing, self-help skills, functional life skills, emotional regulation, cognitive skills and social skills that affect access to the curriculum and participation in the school day. Ruth Ashley, our COTA sums it up nicely when she talks about the role OT can play in a student's life, "I have treated students from Kindergarten age and attended their high school graduation. There is nothing more gratifying than having an eighteen year old hug you, dressed in their cap and gown, and thank you for having taught them how to sign their name in cursive, or to tie their shoes. Simple motor skills they once struggled with - but are now readying themselves for college and adulthood. I think of that in my daily routine when seeing my students make small gains. It helps me see the big picture - and just how valuable OTs and COTAs are." Claire Bascio, OTR/L, feels that one of the unique factors of being an SLC OT is that we have a department that is 12 OTs strong as well as having other professionals to collaborate with so that we can bring a well-balanced whole child approach to the teams that we are part of. A great example of this collaboration is under the resources tab on the OT page on this website. There you can find many OT approved websites and activities.

For more information on Occupational Therapy check out the national organization website .



2011 Day of Caring

Last month, members of the OT/PT department volunteered for the United Way’s Day of Caring for the second year in a row.  This year the project reflected the departments’ commitment to the importance of hands on learning for children.  The team met at the beautiful and historic New Hampshire Farm Museum in Milton, NH.  It is visited each year by many schools in the area, as the museum strives to preserve and teach New Hampshire’s agricultural past.   

Caring2011BIn the chilly morning hours, the team demonstrated their strength and endurance as they built and filled raised garden beds. The sun peaked through and shined down as they planted the garden beds with snap peas, carrots, and radishes.  This allows children who visit the museum to be able to participate in farming life by harvesting their own vegetables.  It was a group effort to keep one determined chicken from eating the seeds as quickly as we could plant them!  The afternoon concluded with a tour of the amazing facilities at the museum, including the farm house, barns, cider mill, and animal pens.  Everyone left that day feeling rejuvenated from spending a day working with their hands and helping out an organization that brings so much to their community.

To find out more about Occupational and Physical Therapy and their roles within the school system, check out their pages under “Supports and Services”.  These pages include resources from the community and links geared towards parents and teachers.








2010 Day of Caring

This past May, members of the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy teams participated in the Day of Caring.  Below is a letter received thanking them for their hard work!

 2010 Day of Caring Photo

The Hodgson Brook Restoration Project is grateful to the volunteers from Liberty Mutual and the Strafford Learning Center who joined forces on May 12th to collect over 2,800 pieces of litter from the banks and waters of Hodgson Brook.

Litter may seem like a small concern but small amounts of contaminants from all over the land add up to cause pollution in the brook. Yes, even the little things matter.  We know that litter which washes into the brook travels downstream eventually ending up in the Piscataqua River. From there it is only a short hop onto our local beaches.

You HAVE made a difference, no matter how small a piece you picked up and because of that Hodgson Brook and all the creatures who want to live there are grateful!