Often spatial awareness difficulties are treated through occupational therapy. Sarah Ward, a renowned occupational therapist from Concord, Massachusetts has developed a method of building those essential skills at home and school. The S.T.O.P. dots process is taught to students using systematic, direct instruction. It is meant to prepare students for transitions from room to room or activity to activity. Using visuals, the acronym is presented, along with questions a student asks themselves before a transition.
T - Time (What will this be time for when I get there?)
O - Objects (What objects will I use?)
P – People (What will my role be when there?)
Once a student is familiar with these questions, small red dots (preferably in the shape of stop signs) are placed in transition areas. At home these include; doors, thresholds, bottom/top of stair cases, edge of tables, and inside of car doors. At school; edge of desk, classroom door, bathroom sign out books, cubbies/lockers, or agendas. Each time a student sees a S.T.O.P. dot, they are trained to stop and ask themselves the four questions to be more spatially prepared for their new surroundings.