Occupational Therapists work with health issues related to trauma – physical, psychological, and developmental issues.
The patient isn’t functioning normally. Any activity that a person performs at any given moment is called an occupation hence they call it occupational therapy. We get patients back to functioning to the way they were before the trauma.
And if we can’t – like a when a patients has lost an arm or leg – we teach them ways to do stuff so that no one has to do it for you, like getting dressed. It’s about improving their quality of life and to help them be independent.
Occupational therapists are trained professionals who use a variety of meaningful activities that address specific problems with the aim of allowing people to achieve a maximum degree of independence and enhance their quality of life. Occupational therapy can be beneficial to children who suffer from permanent disabilities, chronic illnesses, the effects of accidents and injuries, as well as those whose development is lagging behind that of their peers. It is used for children as young as six months all the way to kids in their late teens.
What to expect
Occupational therapy for your child is likely to involve some or all of the following stages although not necessarily in the same order:
- Referral. Often a doctor or a teacher may suggest that a child might benefit from OT.
- Information gathering and initial assessment. The occupational therapist starts by establishing a holistic picture of the child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development by interviewing parents and teachers and evaluating the child’s skills using a number of assessment tools.
- Identification of problems and needs, goal setting and action planning. The occupational therapist determines exactly what OT interventions are required by the child and develops a plan to achieve the necessary improvements.
- The child attends regular OT sessions.
- Ongoing assessment and revision help the occupational therapist to keep track of progress.
- Measurement of outcomes. At the end of a period of occupational therapy an assessment is made of any improvements in the child’s level of development and skills.