Julie Bissell OTD, OTR/L, ATP
Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
Room: CHP 133
Julie Bissell has practiced occupational therapy in California public schools for more than 30 years. As an adjunct associate professor of clinical occupational therapy, she currently teaches the Contemporary Issues in School-Based Practice course within the USC Chan Division. Dr. Bissell has co-authored "Sensory-Motor Handbook: A Guide to Implementing and Modifying Activities in the Classroom," the American Occupational Therapy Association's fact sheet on sensory integration and the official AOTA document "Providing Occupational Therapy Using Sensory Integration Theory and Methods in School-Based Practice." She is a former chair of the AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section and she co-chaired the 2010 and 2012 committees to revise the California Department of Education's "Guidelines for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy in California Public Schools." She is currently co-chair of the Occupational Therapy Association of California's Ethics, Reimbursement and Practice Committee's School-Based Practice Sub-Committee. She recently co-authored "Here's How I Write: A Child's Self-Assessment of Handwriting and Goal Setting Tool," a new handwriting assessment. In 2015, she received the Award of Excellence from the Occupational Therapy Association of California.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2012 | University of Southern California
Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
1978 | University of Southern California
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Physical Education
1974 | University of California, Santa Barbara
Goldstand, S., Gevir, D., Cermak, S., & Bissell, J. (2013). Here's How I Write: A Child's Self-Assessment of Handwriting and Goal Setting Tool. Framingham, MA: Therapro. Full text
Bissell, J., Bohman, S. J., Mailloux, Z., & Test, L. (Eds.) (2012). Guidelines for occupational therapy and physical therapy in California public schools (2nd ed.). Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education. Full text
Bissell, J., Fisher, J., Owens, C., & Polcyn, P. (Eds.) (1998). Sensory motor handbook: A guide for implementing and modifying activities in the classroom (2nd ed.). San Antonio, TX: Therapy Skill Builders.
Bissell, J., Fisher, J., Owens, C., & Polcyn, P. (Eds.) (1988). Sensory motor handbook: A guide for implementing and modifying activities in the classroom. Los Angeles, CA: Sensory Integration International.
Clark, F., Mailloux, Z., Parham, L. D., & Bissell, J. (1989). Sensory integration and children with learning disabilities. In P. N. Pratt & A. S. Allen (Eds.), Occupational therapy for children (2nd ed., pp. 457-509). St. Louis, MO: C. V. Mosby.
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2015). Occupational therapy for children and youth using sensory integration theory and methods in school-based practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6913410040p1-6913410040p20. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.696S04
Bissell, J., & Cermak, S. (2015). Frameworks, models and trends in school-based occupational therapy in the United States. The Israeli Journal of Occupational Therapy, 24, E49-E69. Show abstract
Models of occupational therapy practice in United States (U.S.) schools continue to evolve in response to the changing and complex needs of today's children to prepare them for postsecondary education, competitive employment and meaningful independent lives. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Occupational Therapy Practice Framework Domain and Process - 3rd Edition (2014) influenced by the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning and Health (2001), U.S. education laws, and corresponding requirements for inclusion, accountability and evidence-based practice with data-driven services guide occupational therapy practice in U.S. public schools. The role of occupational therapy in the U.S. school setting is to help children participate in the general education curriculum and facilitate the inclusion of children with special needs with peers without disabilities in all aspects of the school day. The purpose of this article is to highlight some of the practice models, current trends and expanded roles of the occupational therapist in the U.S. public schools.
Cermak, S. A., & Bissell, J. (2014). Content and construct validity of Here’s How I Write (HHIW): A Child’s Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Tool. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68, 296-306. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.010637 Show abstract
OBJECTIVE: We examined content and construct validity of Here’s How I Write: A Child’s Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Tool, to assess children’s perception of their handwriting and set child-directed goals.
METHOD: In Study 1, a content validity study, 6 occupational therapists and 2 educators assessed the need for this type of measure and examined the proposed items. Thirty-four occupational therapists and educators then completed an online survey examining the items. Study 2, a construct validity study, compared the self-ratings of 20 children with poor handwriting and 20 children with good handwriting in Grades 2–5 with their teachers’ ratings.
RESULTS: Results supported test content and indicated freedom from culture and gender bias. The assessment discriminated between good and poor writers. The relationship between teacher and student ratings was significant, although teachers of poor writers rated the children lower than the children rated themselves.
CONCLUSION:These studies provide support for the tool’s validity.
Roley, S. S., Bissell, J., Clark, G. F., & Commission on Practice. (2009). Providing occupational therapy using sensory integration theory and methods in school-based practice. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 823-842. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.63.6.823
Roley, S. S., Clark, G. F., Bissell, J., Brayman, S. J., & Commission on Practice. (2003). Applying sensory integration framework in educationally related occupational therapy practice (2003 statement). American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 652-659. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.57.6.652 Show abstract
Based on the educational team recommendations, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants working in educationally related settings provide services to students who are eligible for Section 504 or special education under IDEA and need occupational therapy to benefit from their education program. It is the occupational therapist's responsibility to develop an intervention plan based on the student's needs and the therapist's professional knowledge base. The occupational therapist chooses and applies any frame of reference within the domain and process of occupational therapy. Regardless of the frame of reference utilized, the desired outcome of occupational therapy services is always engagement in occupations that allows participation in a student's daily life. When students demonstrate deficits in sensory integration that contribute to a significant and documented discrepancy in their skills within their educational program, the use of a sensory integrative approach may be one frame of reference for, intervention chosen by the occupational therapist.
Bissell, J. C., & Clark, F. A. (1984). Dichotic listening performance in normal children and adults. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 38, 176-186. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.38.3.176 Show abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate normative expectations on the dichotic listening test in order to determine the influence of sex and development on development listening performance. Thirty 5- to 6-year-olds, thirty 11- to 12-year-olds, and 30 adults, 15 males and 15 females in each group, were tested by using conssonant- vowel dichotic stimuli. There were no significant differences between males and females except for the 11- to 12-year-old females who were significantly more accurate than the males. Degree of ear asymmetry did not differ among the three age goups; however, the adults and 11- to 12-year-olds were significantly more accurate than the 5- to 6-year-olds. Guidelines are suggested for the interpretation of dichotic listening test data.
In this article, the historical use of crafts in occupational therapy for the physically disabled patient is reviewed and the results of a survey aimed at describing current craft use is presented. A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 250 occupational therapists throughout the United States who chose physical disabilities as their specialty section. Results demonstrated that, while most therapists use crafts to some degree in their therapy programs, other treatment modalities such as therapeutic exercise and activities of daily living were used a greater percentage of the time. Reasons for using crafts, problems with justification of craft use, and participation of certified occupational therapy assistants in craft programs are discussed. Questions are raised concerning the role of therapeutic crafts in the past and present practice of occupational therapy for the physically disabled. Recommendations are made for future research.
Polcyn, P., & Bissell, J. (2005, March). Flexible models of service using sensory integration framework in school settings. AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 28(1), 1-4. Full text
Bissell, J. (2004, June). Sensory Integration Special Interest Section goals and projects 2004. AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 27(2), 1-3. Full text
Bissell, J. (2004, June 28). Frequently asked questions: Sensory integration. OT Practice, 31-32. Full text
Bissell, J., & Roley, S. S. (2003, December). A new look at sensory integration in occupational therapy practice. AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 26(4), 1-4. Full text
Bissell, J., & Peng, S. J. (2001, September). Assistive technology to support sensory integration, praxis and self-regulation: Needs of children with autism. AOTA Sensory Integration Special Interest Section Quarterly, 24(3), 1-4. Full text