Phone: 973-423-6480 x2637
Degrees and Certifications:
B.S. Occupational Therapy Kean University
Mrs. Stella Dimatos
Hello! Thank you for visiting my webpage! I'm very excited to be a district occupational therapist at Jefferson school. I have worked as a school based occupational therapist for over 15 years. During the beginning of my career, I began working in a community re-entry program for persons with head injuries. Later I worked in adult rehabilitation. I found my passion to work with children once working in a children's therapy center and in a public school system. I await the opportunity to work with the students, collaborating with the educational team as well as with parents/caregivers. I strive to make each and every student I work with as successful as they could be in their roles as a student; to learn and play, make friends and go to school.
What is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapists in a school setting assist children to develop the skills needed to perform to their best potential in their academic environments. Occupational therapy is considered to be a "related service” in the school system, under the Department of Special Services. OT’s work to maximize a child's ability to access and participate in school activities. A child's ability to function optimally in the school setting may be impacted by physical, developmental, sensory, behavioral, attentional and learning challenges.
A school based occupational therapist can evaluate and address specific skills impacting a child's ability to participate effectively in the school environment. Areas may include but not limited to the following:
fine motor skills
visual motor integration skills
visual perceptual skills
A school based OT works with a child by playing, doing exercises, crafts and other activities to address a weakness that is impacting the child’s ability to do what they need to do as a student. These areas may be addressed with various intervention strategies, which may include direct therapy with the child, consultation with the teacher or professional staff, modifications in the student's environment and /or with the use of adaptive equipment.
An occupational therapist in the school system collaborates with classroom and special-education teachers to help children generalize skills across different settings, make adaptations or modifications if needed in the classroom and other areas throughout the school. Parent collaboration and carryover into the home is paramount to continue enhancing the skills practiced in therapy.
Please contact me if you have any questions. I am looking forward to a wonderful school year working with the children and families here in Hawthorne.