There are many helpful therapies available in our world: Physical therapy, aromatherapy, speech therapy … there’s even such a thing as Chinese food therapy (no doubt the tastiest of all therapies).
But what about occupational therapy programs? What do occupational therapists do, and what services do they provide?
Occupational Therapy Programs Empower People with Disabilities
The word “occupational” conjures the thought of job-related matters, but in this case it refers to everyday life activities. Ergo, occupational therapy programs help people (young and old) “develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.”
Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) work with people of all ages with physical or mental disabilities to help them adapt to their environments or regain skills. Let’s have a look at some ways occupational therapy programs can help.
Children with developmental delays – OTs work with little ones to develop the skills they need to thrive at home, at play, and at school. They design programs tailored to each child to help them in everyday situations related to social settings, education, and general self-sufficiency.
For children with autism or sensory issues, OTs work with parents to help promote behavioral, social, communication and coping skills. Depending on the child’s needs, this may involve working on attention span, social interactions, switching between activities, motor skills, and daily tasks like getting dressed.
Ultimately, occupational therapy programs help children with their main “occupation” – which is to learn, grow, have fun, and just be a kid.
Adults recovering from an accident or illness – If you’ve ever been in a serious accident or survived a life-altering illness, you know how difficult recovery can be.
Whether you’ve had to re-learn how to walk, or deal with the loss of motor skills, any adjustment in your level of independence can be a challenge.
OTs also work with adults to help them adapt and regain self-sufficiency.
In addition to providing specialized equipment for people as needed, OTs can teach techniques to work around limitations and maximize independence.
Those recovering from a stroke, amputees, or anyone recovering from a serious illness or accident may benefit from occupational therapy.
Elderly people with physical or cognitive issues – OT practitioners can make a tremendous difference for those living with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other cognitive issues.
Older people with physical limitations or diminished mobility can also benefit from the services of an occupational therapist by learning coping skills to live safely in their own home.
Find Out More
If you’d like to know more about occupational therapy programs, and their therapeutic interventions, you can do so here.
If you have a child or know a child with disabilities who you think might benefit from occupational therapy, but you’re not sure about the cost, take a few moments to read about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
OT is also a growing, in-demand career path.
If you’re looking for a job that’s all about helping people of all ages live their best life, the field of occupational therapy might be a great fit for you.
Image Credit: Shutterstock