Job Description / Essential Elements:
Under administrative direction of Student Support Services, provides assessment, consultation and occupational therapy services to special education students. Develops goals and objectives for consideration in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and develops individual occupational therapy intervention plans. Maintains appropriate documentation and records. Incumbents in this classification will directly supervise the work and performance of classified staff involved in providing these services and will participate as a member of the educational team assessing student performance.
This highly specialized management classification is distinguished from other Student Support Services classifications in that the incumbent has advanced training and specialized knowledge of the needs of children with occupational therapy needs. A primary responsibility will be to train, supervise and/or consult with staff, professionals and parents, supporting the development and implementation of Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals/objectives, placement and services. This position differs from the position of Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant (COTA) in that this position is a management/ lead position with supervision authority over employees in the COTA classification.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Serves as supervisor/case manager for students who require occupational therapy services; takes a leadership role during regular progress update “clinic” meetings; trains, supervises and consults with other staff, professionals and parents, supporting the development and implementation of Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and services; administers standardized tests and observes and documents reactions and responses of students to occupational therapy treatment; provides parents with strategies for skill generalization into the home and community; implements home programs and monitors student progress in areas of instruction, activities of daily living, play, leisure and social participation; assesses perceptual-motor skills, motor coordination, sensory development, muscle strength, and related skills and aptitudes; drives a vehicle to various sites, including home residences, to provide occupational therapy services to individual or small groups of students; explains and clarifies occupational therapy goals and services and communicates with school personnel and parents as needed regarding student progress and concerns; sets up and operates therapy equipment, including hanging, repositioning and adaptation for student use and instructs educational team in the use and care of equipment; analyzes data and modifies curricular and instructional strategies on a weekly basis or as needed; supervises maintenance of a variety of records and files and coordinates data collection to monitor student progress; provides parent and staff in-services on relevant behavioral and instructional strategies; collaborates with instructional staff, outside agencies, and consultants to provide supervision of school-based and extended day programming.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in Occupational Therapy or a closely related field. A Master’s degree in one of these fields is desirable. Must be registered as an Occupational Therapist with the American Therapy Association through California Board of Occupational Therapy (CBOT). Maintenance of this registration is a condition of continued employment.
A minimum of two years of successful service in the field of occupational therapy, preferably working with elementary school-aged children with severe and physical disabilities including pediatrics, sensory integration and motor evaluation and training. Experience in developing specific program plans for children with occupational therapy needs and in consultation teaming with inter-agency collaboration. Experience in conducting training workshops with families and/or schools. Ability to demonstrate utilization of required skills, knowledge and abilities in performing job duties and responsibilities.
Applicable laws, codes, regulations, policies and objectives of assigned programs, activities and procedural safeguards; general principles of supervision and training; IEP planning process and program options; methods and techniques of individual and group therapy commonly used for students with special needs; general needs and behavior of children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, including an understanding of appropriate behavior management techniques used in controlling and motivating students; general concepts of child growth and development and child behavior characteristics; principles and practices for the treatment and evaluation of children with developmental delays and neurological, orthopedic and perceptual disabilities; applicable treatment modalities for special needs children from preschool to grade 8; educational and medical applications of adaptive equipment; modifications to tasks and environmental factors to enhance student’s functioning; proper methods of positioning students in orthopedic equipment; professional report writing; various methods of data collection current and research regarding methodologies, interventions and treatment; CPR procedures; correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary; oral and written communication skills; interpersonal skills using tact, patience and courtesy.
Ensure that tasks are performed according to IEP requirements; conduct occupational therapy screenings; keep complex data collection records, maintain records and prepare clear and concise reports related to assigned students and activities; monitor and evaluate student progress and communicate student’s therapy status and progress to educational team members; instruct, train and effectively supervise subordinate staff; motivate and encourage positive learning patterns and behavior for students with special needs; lift and position students into and out of orthopedic equipment and adjust equipment; interpret, apply and explain laws, rules and regulations related to assigned activities; understand and work within scope of authority; observe health and safety regulations; communicate effectively both orally and in writing; demonstrate confidence, tact, and the use of good judgment; plan and organize work; meet schedules and timelines; use good judgment in making independent decisions to respond to student requests and needs; maintain effective and harmonious working relationships with students, fellow employees, teachers and administrative staff; maintain confidentiality of sensitive information; travel to students’ homes and other locations as needed and adjust to frequent schedule changes; obtain a Red Cross First Aid certificate, including CPR training; use personal vehicle, maintain valid driver’s license and proof of auto insurance.
LICENSES AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:
Valid CPR Certificate issued by an authorized agency within three months of hire. Must be registered as a Occupational Therapist with the State of California, as well as meeting requirements to keep certificate current.
The work environment and physical demands of the positions as described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of a position working with special education students. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions of a specific position. These physical standards are generic in nature and tasks may vary dependent on student assignment.
Work Environment: While performing the duties of this job, the employee works in several environments including home environment, classroom, indoor and outdoor and clinic environments. The employee’s primary responsibility is to provide occupational therapy and supervision of certified occupational therapy assistants, according to Individual Education Program (IEP) goals and treatment plans. The incumbent will be expected to drive to and from assigned sites. Employees in this position may have a higher level of exposure to infection and physical injury from students. There is also frequent contact with staff and public. The noise level is moderate. Actual daily work schedules will vary, dependent on program need.
Physical Demands: The physical demands of this position require that the employee engage in strenuous physical activity. Sitting and standing for extended periods of time is also required. Dependent on class/student assignment the employee may frequently move or lift children weighing up to 50 lbs unassisted from wheelchairs to tables or desks. Works with students who have severe physical and emotional disabilities. Employees may lift and move students who may wear heavy braces, use wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Frequent bending at the waist is required, as is kneeling, crouching, pushing and pulling to assist students with braces, floor exercises and pushing of wheelchairs with or without students up and down inclines, steps and on long walks. Employees may reach overhead as well as above the shoulders and horizontally. Dexterity of hands and fingers to demonstrate activities and equipment is required as is hearing and speaking to model clear English speech, exchange information, make presentations, hear in a noisy environment and locate the source of a sound. Seeing to read a variety of materials and monitor student activities is required.
The information contained in this physical standards description is for compliance with ADA and is not an exhaustive list of duties performed. The individuals currently holding this position perform additional duties and additional duties may be assigned.