Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sian Zylstra

Second Advisor

Holly Grieves


Rooted in policy and program development, this occupational therapy doctoral capstone experience focused on addressing sensory processing and mental health needs at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School (GRCMS). With a significant proportion of students suffering from sensory processing difficulties and mental health concerns, the field of occupational therapy is distinctly equipped to address both needs within the context of school (Nielsen at al., 2021, Mental health for adolescents, n.d.). Occupational therapy’s background and expert training in both sensory processing as well as mental health needs proved vital the completion of this capstone. An intensive literature review was conducted to guide decision making in the rehabilitation of two sensory rooms at GRCMS and provide evidence-based activities to support sensory processing and mental health needs. Education was provided to staff and students to increase the depth of knowledge and understanding on the topics from the perspective of the field of occupational therapy. This capstone also focused on grant writing to secure funding for sensory room equipment and staff training.