What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is a skilled rehabilitative profession that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives. Differing from physical therapy, OT helps people with activities of daily living (ADL), such as bathing, dressing and toileting, but also includes many other skills necessary for all of life's roles, including work, play, school and caring for themself and others. Occupational therapists have the knowledge to understand progressive conditions and life changes that can affect ADL performance and other aspects of daily life.
OT Services Typically Include:
- Customized, individualized treatment programs to improve one's ability to perform daily activities
- Comprehensive home evaluations with adaptation and equipment recommendations
- Performance skills assessments and treatments
- Adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment recommendations and usage training
- Guidance to patients, their family members and their caregivers
About Occupational Therapy Practitioners
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals whose education includes the study of human growth and development with specific emphasis on the social, emotional, and physiological effects of illness and injury. The occupational therapist enters the field with a bachelors, masters, or doctoral degree. The occupational therapy assistant generally earns an associate degree. Practitioners must complete supervised clinical internships in a variety of health care settings, and pass a national examination. Most states (including New York) also regulate and provide licensure for occupational therapy practice.
Who Benefits From Occupational Therapy?
A wide variety of people can benefit from OT, including those with:
- work-related injuries including lower back problems or repetitive motion/stress injuries
- limitations following a stroke, heart attack, or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or other serious chronic conditions
- birth injuries, learning problems, or developmental disabilities (including ADHD, cerebral palsy)
- mental health or behavioral problems including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress
- problems with substance use/abuse or eating disorders
- burns, spinal cord injuries, or amputations
- broken bones or orthopedic injuries & other injuries from falls, sports injuries, or accidents
- vision or cognitive problems that threaten their ability to drive
Click here to learn more from the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.