Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan (from newborns to older adults) to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations), such as eating, dressing, school activities and work. Occupational therapists treat all individuals through all ages and stages of life, enabling people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
Occupational Therapy Specialties:
- Pediatrics: developmental delay, sensory integration, emotional regulation, reflex integration, visual deficits, motor skills
- Musculoskeletal Dysfunction, Neuromuscular Re-ed/disorders, Work Injuries, Upper Extremity Rehab, Cognitive Retraining, Activities of Daily Living, Sports Injuries, Hand Therapy, Post-Surgical Rehabilitation
Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury of the upper extremities (i.e., hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder girdle, rotator cuff, multiple joints), and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:
- an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
- customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
- an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.
Occupational therapists have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science.