A Survey of the Need for Occupational Therapy Services for Students Enrolled in Three Area Alternative Education Programs

Laura Kolak, Western Michigan University


Alternative education programs are schools that accept students who have not been successful in the traditional school setting. Many times the students in these schools have underlying deficits, such as cognitive or visual impairments. Students in the traditional school setting with deficits such as these receive occupational therapy services, which are required under federal legislation.

This study focuses on developing a better understanding of the needs of students in three Southern Michigan alternative education schools and finding whether occupational therapy services would be beneficial to them. There are currently no occupational therapists at these settings. A survey was created and distributed to the faculty of each school regarding the problem areas of alternative education students.

The study shows the deficits among the students in the area alternative education schools and how occupational therapy could help. It also explores differences and similarities among the three school settings and gives faculty, people of the community, and therapists a better understanding of the students.