Mrs. Hay-Stone's Page


Hello and Welcome! My name is Ellen Hay-Stone. I am an occupational therapist for all grades at Matthew Thornton School.  I obtained my undergraduate degree in occupational therapy from UNH and my Master's in Education from Rivier College. Most of my work has been in the public schools; however I spent several years working in hospital psychiatric settings for children and adults. My speciality area is pediatrics.  I became certified as a Size Matters Handwriting Program Therapist in August of 2016. 

OT is located in Room #5

If you have comments, questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. Email is the best way to reach me. If you do email me regarding your child please remember to write "Confidential" in the subject area. You can reach me via email or phone.

432-6937 ext. 6005


August 2018 Newsletter - Backpacks

Matthew Thornton 

Occupational Therapy Newsletter

September 26, 2018 is National Back Pack Awareness Day

During the month of August many families find themselves purchasing supplies for the new school year. A major purchase is the backpack your child will use on a daily basis. There are hundreds to choose from. You may want to consider some important tips from the American Occupational Therapy Association when outfitting your child with a backpack.

FIT IS IMPORTANT! Select the right size for your child.

  • The height of the backpack should be about 2 inches below the shoulder blades.
  • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back; never more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
  • Padded shoulder straps can help protect the blood vessels and nerves of the neck and shoulders.
  • Waist belts can help distribute a pack’s weight evenly.


  • Encourage your child to pack their own backpack after you teach them the proper packing techniques and what should be included daily.
  • Check intermittently to see what items your child packs to ensure that the items are necessary.
  • The heaviest items should be loaded close to the back of the pack – so they rest against the wearer’s back.
  • Items should be arranged so that they don’t shift and slide around.
  • Sharp or pointy items should be placed away from the back.
  • Encourage child to wear their backpack using both straps ensuring that they are snug but not tight.

Research suggests that a child’s backpack not weigh more than 10 – 15 percent of their weight.