Can I use this tool instead of standardized tests? Yes!!! Occupational Therapists don’t need numbers and standardized scores to ‘qualify’ children for school services in the U.S. according to federal law. States and school districts may have further requirements for qualification for OT services. Deciding which children could benefit from OT is an art.  SCHOODLES helps the therapist to use critical thinking skills and clinical judgment.

What else do I need for testing? Items to include in your zipper pouch: 3 crayons one orange, one red and one blue, 2 pencils, one pen, a scarf or piece of tissue, colorful visual target to place on the end of a pencil, small stapler, small rubber mat for the puzzle, a letter strip for testing letter copy, and a small scissors.

What do I do when teachers and parents want numbers? Give them numbers! You can give approximate age ranges for most of the skills on the tool. Parents typically understand terms such as ‘1-2 years below age level’. You can also draw the focus away from numbers and instead stress classroom function, which is really what we need to look at for any student.

Tell me more about the puzzle task? The puzzle task can be broken down into many skill levels using visual, verbal and physical guidance. Information gathered from this task can be correlated with information from psychologists and teachers. The activity can be graded to appropriately meet the skill level of the child. and help the student feel successful.

What is the upper age limit on the assessment?  The workbook portion is appropriate for all children through grades 4 or 5. It can also be used with older children who may be working on basic school skills such as writing and cutting. Other areas of the assessment including vision skills, gross motor and kinesthetic awareness, self-care, manual muscle testing, classroom observations, and general observations can be used to guide the assessment of a child of any age.

Does the therapist guide help me make my observations? Yes! It provides suggestions for each activity, what to look for when doing the activities, and what may be underlying causes for problems you see. It also gives general age ranges for skill attainment, which provides a reference when trying to determine if a student’s skills are age-appropriate.