What is Occupational Therapy (OT) and what does an occupational therapist do?OT is a developmental intervention that seeks to enhance the individual’s ability to successfully function in his/her community. The OT starts with an evaluation of the child’s capabilities which influence performance of tasks necessary to function in his/her natural environment(s).
The OT then assesses the child’s specific strengths and weaknesses with respect to self–care, play/leisure skills, academic abilities and sensory–motor capabilities. When therapeutic intervention is recommended, it is employed to enhance the child’s capabilities, and includes aspects such as accommodations in positioning, adaptive equipment, modification of the environment, and functional enhancement of sensory perception, motor responses, and functional mobility and manipulation to accomplish the daily tasks (“Occupations”) of living.
What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy?Physical therapy is primarily concerned with large muscle groups, gross motor function and safety during transfers and ambulation, pain control and joint function. Occupational therapy is concerned with functional activities, the ability of the patient to accomplish these activities, hand function and post–surgical care of the hand.
Do occupational therapists assist patients in finding a job?Occupational therapists do not perform the tasks of vocational rehabilitation counselors. However, occupational therapists may be involved in setting up exercise programs or practice sessions that assist patients in regaining the appropriate physical skills needed to return to the work place.
What do the Occupational Therapy services provide?Practitioners work with any age group and with any illness/injury requiring OT services, among these are:
Mental Health Disorders: Autism, Depression, Personality or Emotionally Disturbed, Organic Disorders (Schizophrenia), Substance Abuse.