WISD Occupational Therapy Month
April is Occupational Therapy month and Waller ISD (WISD) would like to thank the occupational therapists (OTs) who help students achieve #WISDgreatness every day. WISD has three OTs who cover all eight campuses: Lisa Koblenz, Elizabeth Wagner, and Rebecca Waterman. These educators are an important part of helping special education students participate in regular, everyday school activities. They aid students in developing their fine motor, visual, and self-care skills. They work on teaching students a variety of life skills from how to properly wash your hands to how to hold a pencil and write. OTs also tie their lessons to what is happening in classrooms so that while students are learning a skill, they are also a part of the class completing assignments and participating in activities along with their peers.
“I like to integrate into the classroom,” Waterman said. “I’m providing support to teachers and paraprofessionals who are working with these students every day.”
WISD’s first OT, Wagner, began eight years ago and covered all campuses. Now, with three therapists, cases and campuses are split at the beginning of the year. For their campus, they work on evaluations, treatments, consults, and meetings. When needed, each OT is open to helping each other, students, and all campuses to keep student care continuous throughout the year.
“My favorite thing about working with the kids is getting to ‘play’ with them,” Wagner said. “Really I am working on many areas to help with school tasks but the kids don’t realize it, for them, it is a fun time.”
OTs also work with families, teachers, and administrators. Not being able to be with students at all times, they educate teachers on how best to work with students and keep their class inclusive. OTs work with parents on how to help their child at home so their education is continued outside of school.
“My favorite part of the job is actually going into the classrooms and working with the students and instructional staff,” Koblenz said. “I also enjoy working with the parents/families on strategies and activities to enable greater success in their children's academic learning.”