School Based Services

COTI is one of the leading occupational therapy practices in the region employing approximately 40 occupational therapists working in a variety of settings including schools, private clinics, infant and young child mental health services as well as in settings with adults.

One of its founders, Virginia Scardina, M.Ed., OTR/L recognized the importance of occupational therapy intervention for children within their school settings and was dedicated to changing the lives of her students in the Cincinnati Public Schools from 1971-1987. She was the first non-teacher to receive the district’s Teacher of the Year Award for Distinguished Service.

It is this tradition that has continued at COTI for over 30 years making it an expert resource for public, charter and private schools as well as other settings that provide services for children. We have earned our reputation by providing superior services to children, establishing open communication with educators and other professionals and generating results for the children with which we work. COTI partners with school personnel to provide integrated services according to the programmatic needs of the school:


  • Evaluation of each student’s abilities through a variety of functional, behavioral, and standardized assessments, skilled observation, checklists, histories, and interviews and collaboration with the interdisciplinary school team on the ETR and IEP.
  • Individual therapy can be provided either within the classroom environment or in a separate area based on the needs of the student.
  • Small groups allow the student to practice skills in context with peers and to challenge them to work collaboratively with peers.
  • Response to intervention assistance can be given on an individual and/or school-wide level based on needs of the school and staff.
  • Inservice training to share OT principles with staff to incorporate these concepts into the classroom schedule.
  • After school groups can provide additional opportunities for learning by targeting specific skills to enhance occupational performance.
  • Extended school year services can be provided as determined necessary by your district’s ESY program.
  • Modifications to a student’s environment, activities, or assignments are necessary in order to increase participation.
  • Second opinion evaluations offer an unbiased second opinion from an independent source in the evaluation of a student.
  • Transition services to facilitate independence in life skills and/or employment as part of the interdisciplinary team.

Why OT

Occupational therapy enhances learning by addressing the following:

Motor Coordination/Planning which may result in problems with:

  • – Play skills
  • – Life skills
  • – Learning new tasks
  • – Organizational skills


Sensory Processing Difficulties resulting in problems with:

  • – Attention
  • – Distractibility/Impulsivity
  • – Inappropriate behavior
  • – Readiness to learn
  • – Endurance/fatigue


Inappropriate Social Interactions resulting in problems with:

  • – Peer relations
  • – Cooperative play
  • – Following rules/directions


Handwriting Dysfunction resulting in problems with:

  • – Poor legibility/ letter formation
  • – Atypical grasp
  • – Unwillingness to write