SI in School: The Controversy
There is sometimes confusion over what school occupational therapists do or do not do related to sensory integration. Some say school occupational therapists “don’t do SI” and others say they do. This comes down to a question of terminology and understanding the OT's role in the public schools.
Until we are consistently able to define and use these terms across our profession (let alone outside of our profession) we will continue to encounter this confusion. The truth of the matter is that occupational therapists working in the public schools use “SI” quite frequently and in many ways. School OTs address sensory processing in their evaluations and use the “SI” frame of reference to educate parents and other team members during a team meeting of a student who is ineligible for special education services; to consult with teachers in order to develop and implement a sensory diet in the classroom; to work with the student in context in order to develop sensory strategies for effective participation, to provide direct intervention with the student when other less restrictive options are determined to be ineffective in supporting school participation.
See Supporting Students with SPD in School for more information on how OTs use their unique knowledge of sensory processing in the schools.