Our primary goal is to equip educators with straightforward yet impactful knowledge, resources, and assistance that are based on the fundamental principles of Universal Design and Self-Regulated Learning.

Inclusive Education in Action: The Role of Occupational Therapists in Schools

Occupational therapists (OTs) in schools play a multifaceted role in enhancing student engagement and success. OTs offer valuable insights into identifying and addressing potential barriers within learning environments across the school. We collaborate with educators to implement tailored accommodations, including the integration of sensory-motor, social-emotional, and cognitive regulation strategies and environmental or task modifications. This fosters more inclusive spaces for diverse student needs. Equally significant is their role in providing essential training to educational staff. This collaborative approach ensures that the entire school community is equipped to create an inclusive atmosphere where all students can engage academically and socially.

Meet the Developers

of Regulated Learning for All

American Board Certified & Licensed Occupational Therapists with over 50 years of combined experience working with thousands of families, children, parents, teachers, and professionals in community, home, hospital, clinical, and educational settings around the world.

Elizabeth Joy Shaffer, OTD, OTR/L

A pediatric OT, speaker, parent mentor, and published researcher who is passionate about helping all children, especially those with autism, ADD/ADHD, and other complex needs. Over the past 20+ years, she has provided occupational therapy interventions to children from early childhood to high school. Elizabeth currently resides in Brussels but has lived and worked in Estonia, Canada, Romania, Argentina, Northern Macedonia, Italy, and the United States. In addition to working with children, she educates professionals and parents through onsite and online workshops. She is the founder of Therapeutic Innovations International, LLC, and co-creator of The Empowered Parent. For more information on Dr. Shaffer and her work, go to www.therapyintl.com.


Kristi D. Troutman,

OTR/L

As a pediatric OT, Kristi works with students and collaborates closely with teachers and families to build independence in the areas of self-regulation, activities of daily living, functional school skills, and transition skills. She is well-versed in assessments of environments and identifying necessary adaptations to ensure student success. She is a proponent of parent and teacher training to help students generalize skills across environments. Kristi has 30+ years of experience working in the United States, China, and the Netherlands, where she currently resides. She is the founder of Bridges to Benchmarks and the co-creator of The Empowered Parent. For more information, please visit www.bridgestobenchmarks.com.

What is Self-regulated Learning?


Self-regulated learning is a process that assists students in managing their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions in order to successfully navigate their learning experiences (Zumbrunn, Tadlock, & Roberts, 2011).


It is a cyclical process wherein the student plans for a task, monitors their performance, and then reflects on the outcome.

What Regulated Learning Looks Like

Sensory Regulation


Sufficient energy sustained throughout the day.

Ability to recoup after challenging situations.

Able to filter out extraneous input in order to attend.

Able to follow routines and adjust to changes in routine.

Able to use strategies or tools effectively to support engagement.

Coordinated movements and safe navigation around the school.

Social-Emotional

Regulation


Resiliency- the ability to recover from challenging situations.

Willingness and interest to experiment and learn.

Open to a wide range of strategies.

Healthy self-esteem.

Ability to understand and respond to others' feelings appropriately.

Effective communicator

Sense of humor.

Empathy- the capacity to care about others' feelings.

Cognitive Regulation


Switch focus as the task requires.

Plan and execute sequential steps.

Willing to try a different approach when one fails to work.

Manage time effectively

Understanding of own strengths/needs.

Ability to get started.

Able to ask for support or use learning tools that are available to maintain the organization of materials.

An innovative and inclusive approach to supporting diverse learners within the classroom.

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