The Benefits of Occupational Therapy

The purpose of occupational therapy is to improve an individual’s quality of life and increase independence with activities of daily living. During the different stages of life individuals have different occupations or meaningful activities they engage in. Below are a couple examples of how occupational therapist can positively impact and individuals occupation:

Example of infant care

A child 6 to 9 months old who is having difficulty sitting up or crawling an OT can provide therapeutic interventions to help advance the child to age appropriate crawling/sitting

Example of child age care

A 6 year old child with poor fine motor skills and hand strength could be having difficulties with handwriting, opening containers, and tying their shoes

Example of early adolescent care

A 10 year old boy with attention deficits could be having difficulty staying on task in school, writing down his homework assignments, and turning in his homework assignments. He could benefit from strategies to improve self regulation and to improve his organizational skills.

Example of late adolescent care

A 16 year old male with autism spectrum disorder is hypersensitive to loud noises and touch, but his parents would like him to become independent with shaving. An OT can develop an intervention plan to help desensitize him to using a manual or electric razor to shave independently. The intervention plan could consist of watching videos, touching the razor to his hand for 10 seconds, touching it to his face for 1 minutes, shaving a small portion of his face, and then leading eventually to shaving his face.

Example of adult care

A 45 year old female could be recovering from carpel tunnel release surgery and wants to return back to her desk job. She would benefit from OT services; to be fitted for a supportive splint, provide manual therapy around the surgical site for scar management and decreased muscle tension, an individualized exercise program and ergonomic desk evaluation for the purpose of returning to her job.

Example of geriatric care

A 75 year old male recently sustained a fall at home, and suffered a left hip fracture spent 5 days in the hospital, 3 weeks in rehab, and is now returning home with his wife. He would benefit from a home assessment for an OT to make recommendations for home modifications or adaptive equipment to increase his independence with functional mobility in his home, preparing a simple meal,  taking a shower, and getting dressed.