Although the program is led by OTs, it requires the support and participation of cafeteria supervisors, school staff, principals, students and families. Why OT? Occupational therapists are skilled in knowing how to help individuals participate successfully in their daily activities, including mealtimes, by enhancing skills or modifying the environment or the activity. An important aspect of this program is to ensure that all students with and without disabilities and/or mental health challenges are fully integrated into the cafeteria environment and are able to participate and enjoy mealtimes and social interaction with peers. OT’s analyze the social, emotional, physical and sensory aspects of participation in order to make the modifications needed for successful participation.1
Who else can help provide this program?
1 American Occupational Therapy Association (2013). The Cafeteria: Creating a Positive Mealtime Experience. See AOTA's School Mental Health toolkit at http://www.aota.org/practice/children-youth/mental%20health/school-mental-health.aspx