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OTS 128: Creating Functional Spaces for Students

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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 128 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.

Are you ready to transform your classroom into an engaging and supportive learning environment?

Join us on this episode, where we explore the topic of setting up the classroom for success with Kelly Wilk-Downs.

Discover important tips and strategies to optimize the learning environment, from creating individual workspaces to mastering sound and lighting. Kelly also introduces the TEACCH method, a tool that benefits not only children with autism and ADHD but all students.

As occupational therapy practitioners, we can collaborate with teachers and administrators to implement these changes and facilitate student learning.

Tune in to hear more about how design affects the classroom environment!

Listen now to learn the following objectives:

  • Learners will identify strategies for creating individual workspaces that meet the needs of different students.

  • Learners will identify the benefits of using visual supports, work systems, & sensory strategies within a classroom.

  • Learners will identify and understand the importance of classroom design in promoting structure and student success.

Guest(s) Bio

Kelly received a degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University and her Occupational Therapy Degree from Barry University in Miami Beach, Florida. Attending a private Catholic College and learning from nuns was a calming experience. She is Certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test and has specialized in working with Autism. Kelly is the developer of Shoe Tying Made Simple and Writing Made Simple products. She has spent most of her career working in the schools where she was responsible for staffing the schools with clinicians, and she also owned her own clinic.


"Natural light is always the best." - Kelly Wilk-Downs, OTR/L

“You can grade the program, there's different levels of Support.”

- Kelly Wilk-Downs, OTR/L

"Ask the teacher how it may impact the other students, those are questions that need to be asked ahead of time before you change things up." - Kelly Wilk-Downs, OTR/L

“It all has to be individualized based on the needs of the students… there's a lot of different types of students in the classroom. So you have to take all of that into consideration.” - Kelly Wilk-Downs, OTR/L

"That is part of the reason that occupational therapy practitioners need to be able to move into administration at school that we can have more impact in this way.” - Jayson Davies, MA, OTR/L


Be sure to subscribe to the OT Schoolhouse email list & get access to our free downloads of Gray-Space paper and the Occupational Profile for school-based OTs. Subscribe now!

Thanks for visiting the podcast show notes! If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts

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