Room A208 781.397.7326
Who I Am:
My name is Leslie Frederick and I am the occupational therapist at the Forestdale School. Most of the children call me “Miss Leslie”. I received both my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. I began working in Malden in 1993 at the old Forestdale School. I had worked in several other school districts prior to beginning my tenure in Malden. I work with all grade levels and all disability areas. My professional interests include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the best ways of using Sensory Integration in the schools. I enjoy working with all the children and they teach me as much as I teach them.
So what exactly is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a related servi ce in the public schools that provides therapy to children who experience physical, developmental, and/or sensory deficits that interfere with independent daily functioning. A child’s occupation or job is to be a student, a sibling, a son/daughter, but most importantly, a child. A child has to develop many skills to be successful in their occupation, including the ability to play with friends, follow directions, color, cut, draw, and write. If the child is having difficulties in any of these areas, the occupational therapist may be contacted to observe or evaluate. Occupational therapists work with children who are having difficulty in the classroom with coloring, cutting, drawing, or writing. These difficulties could be related to problems in the areas of fine motor skill development, gross motor skill development, visual motor or visual perceptual skill development, or sensory processing.
OT at the Forestdale School:
The occupational therapy room is located on the second floor, room A208. Therapy may occur in the occupational therapy room, in the child’s classroom, or where ever the child is having difficulty. It could be the cafeteria, the gym, art class or the playground. Currently, two occupational therapists work at the school. We share the caseload and your child may not have the same therapist from one year to the next.
If your child is in the second grade or above, he or she will occasionally have homework related to printing or cursive which is due the following scheduled session. It is important for your child to complete the homework to foster the mastery of learned skills. Many children who receive occupational therapy services require daily practice of a skill (i.e., cursive writing) to be successful in mastering the skill. Of course, there are many things that your child should be doing on a daily basis to foster fine and gross motor skill development. If possible, your child should be involved in some outdoor activity on a daily basis. This can include sports but can also include bikeriding, rollerblading, playing on swingsets or at the playground and playing wiith friends.
Here are some of my favorite websites for information:
http://www.aota.org American Occupational Therapy Association
http://www.chadd.org Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder