South Orangetown Central School District

SLP Melissa Jacob with student
Provider of occupational therapy services Beth Kaplan, COTA, and Speech-Language Pathologist Melissa Jacob, M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD come together each month to provide integrated services to students at William O. Schaefer Elementary School.

For October, Kaplan and Jacob designed a variety of fall and Halloween-inspired activities to help students work on a variety of skills including fine motor skills, expressive language skills, eye-hand coordination and more. “We do a joint lesson each month with activities that take place over a few days. We work together to meet the needs of students that we both work with and have a collaborative approach with our services when it’s appropriate,” explained Kaplan.

On Monday, Jacob and Kaplan began the session with a fall-themed obstacle course where students had to throw a pumpkin-shaped ball through a spider-web while they were on a therapy swing before cooling down in the Cozy Corner where Jacob finished the read-aloud of “Spookley the Square Pumpkin,” written by Joe Troiano. The theme of the book teaches students that our differences make us unique and let us impact others in a positive way. After the read-aloud, Jacob asked students to discuss the events and characters from the book. “We focus on working on dialogic reading during these sessions, which is a conversational approach to reading to help students comprehend the text,” said Jacob.

Students put the finishing touches on their own “spookley pumpkins” by using hole punching tools and gluing shapes onto their pumpkins, which help to improve bilateral skills and finger/hand strength, organizational skills and visual perceptual skills.