For Students with Learning Differences, The Prentice School’s Occupational Therapy Program goes beyond Traditional Services

NORTH TUSTIN, Calif., Oct. 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Prentice School, a private, nonprofit, and nonpublic (NPS) academic school, which offers unparalleled learning experiences to bright students with learning differences, announced today the expansion of its research-based occupational therapy program to help kindergarten through eighth grade students improve attention, timing and planning skills, auditory processing, motor skills and emotional regulation.

“At Prentice, we are very intentional about creating a customized individual plan and support system for each of our students that includes a highly qualified classroom teacher, speech and language pathologist, enrichment teachers and a school psychologist, says Alicia Maciel, Executive Director at The Prentice School. “An occupational therapist on campus further enhances this support system by empowering our students to develop a growth mindset, manage stress, anxiety, and frustrations when faced with academic challenges to achieve successful results.”

“Some students with dyslexia at The Prentice School benefit from direct multisensory educational instruction because they are faced with reading challenges if they experience difficulties in their sensory processing skills; affecting their ability to learn,” says Chris Sanita, Principal at The Prentice School. “Occupational therapy supports classrooms from kindergarten through junior high to expand and adapt the multisensory approach to learning for all students, as well as provide direct interventions when students have specific sensory processing, visual perceptual, visual motor, and motor skill deficits. Direct, one-on-one student services focus on motor skills, handwriting, keyboarding, and organization and planning skills.”

April Simpson, Occupational Therapist at The Prentice School says, “Our individual and group interventions, and our full classroom educational groups teach foundational life skills for self-awareness and mindfulness, and how to integrate self-regulation strategies. By collaborating with classroom teachers, the occupational therapist can help support the students by helping them create a strategy that will allow them to self-regulate in order to increase attention and focus on learning. Our occupational therapy program encompasses academic and child wellness interventions beyond traditional services such as fine motor and handwriting needs.”

The Prentice School also offers research-based specialized intervention programs through occupational therapy which include Interactive Metronome® and an auditory-motor training program from Integrated Listening Systems. Additionally, family-based programs are offered at Prentice to support children’s eating and nutrition as well as sleep hygiene. Prentice involves the entire family and recognizes how good sleep health and eating habits affect attention and learning.

“The human brain is like a clock, in that there are multiple timing systems operating in coordination together.  These timing systems include the sleep-wake cycle, appetite, the ability to adapt behavior based upon the environment, making decisions, having a temporal awareness of time, language processing, and with attention and thinking. When one of the brain’s timing systems is not working efficiently, many others also fall out of sync,” says April. “It is the synchronization of these clocks working efficiently together, allowing a person to be efficient and timely in the tasks they need to compete on a daily basis. Our goal is to support students to develop and sharpen these fundamental skills in order to enhance the brain’s ability to attend and learn and grow academically.”

For over 30 years, The Prentice School has transformed the lives of over 5,000 students with learning differences such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, ADHD, anxiety, and visual processing and executive function disorders.

Parents and donors, and educational and healthcare professionals, interested in learning more about The Prentice School can visit  for additional information.

Founded in 1986, The Prentice School is a private, nonprofit academic school located in North Tustin, California and is a Certified Nonpublic School through the California Department of Education and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The Prentice approach is designed to engage students on three learning pathways, including auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Using evidence-based curriculum and instructional methodologies, a structured literacy approach, multi-sensory instructional strategies, and ongoing progress monitoring, The Prentice School offers an unparalleled learning experience to students with learning differences who possess average to high intelligence, whose needs have not been met in a more traditional classroom setting.

You can learn more about The Prentice School at or
call (714) 244.4600