Date of Award

Fall 12-2022

Document Type

MOT Group Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy


Rehabilitation Sciences

Research Coordinator

Christine Raber, PHD, OTR/L

Program Director

Barbara Warnock, DHSc, OTR/L



Since the passage of the IDEA Act in 1975, pediatric occupational therapists have been working to improve children’s literacy skills. From the sensory-based assessment and interventions of Ayres (1972) to the Occupations of Reading Practice Model created by Grajo and Chandler (2017), the field of occupational therapy has come a long way in understanding how to treat children with deficits in reading, writing, and other forms of communication. The goal of this study was to understand how occupational therapists are currently working with school-aged youth concerning their literacy skills. Six databases were searched using terms related to occupational therapy and literacy in school-aged youth. Inclusion criteria for the articles included occupational therapist/occupational therapy assistant/occupational therapy, a target age range of k-12, a publication range between 1975 through the present, and published in the English language. Seventy-nine percent of the results occurred between 2006 to present. Sixty-one articles met the inclusion criteria; after removing systematic reviews and meta-analyses, forty-six articles were analyzed for this study. The thematic analysis revealed that occupational therapy practitioners are addressing factors related to perception, vision, and cognition with school-aged youth. The occupational therapy practitioners mainly assessed skills such as handwriting. The most used assessments were the Minnesota Handwriting Test and the Evaluation Tool of Children’s Handwriting Manuscript.

Keywords: Occupational therapy, occupational therapy assistant, literacy, school-aged youth, scoping review


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