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Mary:  My daughter is in preschool and did a self-portrait project at school. On her daily sheet home, they wrote down that she did it with the para. On the project itself, they wrote down her name and also wrote “OT” on there. My question is, can a para do projects and then label it with OT? If it wasn’t on her daily sheet home that she did the project with the para, I would have thought that she did it with the occupational therapist. Is there any reason for concern?

  1. What is the OT supposed to be doing with the student? Assisting with a specific assignment? Sensory work? Have you had an opportunity to meet with the OT to discuss service goals?

    I hate to say this, but certain paras are more help to the child than certain OTs are. On the other hand, my son had one OT who should be sainted.

    Perhaps this is a concern that could wait until your the next parent-teacher conference — so that you don’t come across as a parent who makes a tempest in a teapot.

    But only you can gauge how quickly you think action might be needed.

  2. If your child has OT services on her IEP and is already receiving the required number of minutes or contacts from the OT, then I wouldn’t be concerned that the drawing done with the para was marked “OT”. I would be confused, though, as to why the project was labeled that way. As the previous reply noted, it would be good just to write a short “low key” note to the teacher asking for clarification.

    If the para support is being considered OT by the district, then I would want to have a more in-depth conversation with the school.

  3. Mary: I don’t know if you should be concerned. Is your daughter supposed to receive OT? If she is, do you have contact with her OT?

    You may want to write a SHORT note to her teacher. You are confused and need to ask the teacher to clarify a question. Who helped your daughter on the project? OT or para? Stick to the facts, no emotions. Thank the teacher for her help. Be gracious.

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