This type of treatment can help if you have pain, injury, illness, or a disability that makes it hard for you to do your job or schoolwork, care for yourself, complete household chores, move around, or take part in activities. Occupational therapists use occupation and meaningful activities to help people of all ages prevent, lessen, or adapt to disabilities. Today’s occupational therapists work in clinical practice, community outreach, education, and research private practice among other areas.

Occupational therapy is all about learning how to adjust. Whether you’re at school, work, or home, OT can help you with anything you need to do. And if using tools (sometimes called assistive devices) would help, we’ll teach you how to use those too.

With the help of an occupational therapist, you can learn new techniques that will enable you to complete daily tasks, take care of yourself and your home, and participate in sports or other activities.

It can help you do specific things like:

  • Eat independently
  • Do office work
  • Bathe and get dressed
  • Do laundry or clean up around the house

What Is an Occupational Therapist?

Those who want to become occupational therapists (OTs) must obtain specialized graduate training. They first receive a degree from an accredited occupational therapy program and then pass a national exam in order to be licensed and certified to practice.

Some OTs specialize in certain types of treatment, such as hand therapy, working with low vision patients, children or older adults. Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) help with some parts of your treatment plan under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist. They don’t assess you or create your therapy plan independently. An OTA typically needs an associate’s degree while an OT has a master’s degree.

Other health professionals that an occupational therapist (OT) or occupational therapy assistant (OTA) typically work with include doctors, physical therapists, and psychologists.

What Does an OT Do?

The therapists work with patients of all ages, from premature babies to elderly adults. In general, the therapist assess how you perform any kind of activity or task. They develop a plan to improve your performance and make it less painful if needed.

The first time you meet with an OT, they will assess your needs. This usually happens by coming to your home or workplace so that they can see what you do and what changes need to be made. If they are working with a child, sometimes they will go to their school instead. They might tell you to move furniture around or get something like a cane or grabber to assist you. They can also show you how complete daily tasks more easily.

After that, they’ll collaborate with you to establish a therapy plan and set goals specifically for your disability or limitations. Your OT can teach you how to better handle movements, improve motor skills or hand-eye coordination, or do tasks differently.

Your OT may:

  • We can prescribe and train you to use assistive devices like raised toilet seats or wheelchairs.
  • Show you how to do things such as button a shirt, tie your shoes, get in and out of the shower, or work on your computer
  • Help older adults prevent falls in their home or in public areas
  • Help adults who have had a stroke improve their condition. You can treat them to improve their balance, change their home to prevent injuries, build muscle strength, or adapt to their memory or speech problems.
  • Organize your medications or household tools
  • Address behavior problems in kids who act out or hit others
  • Build hand-eye coordination so you can hit a tennis ball
  • Work on motor skills so you can grasp a pencil

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?

Just about anyone who struggles to do any kind of task may need it. If you have one of these health problems, ask your doctor if OT could help you:

  • Arthritis and chronic pain
  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Joint replacement
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Low vision
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Poor balance
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Mental health or behavior issues
  • It can also help kids with birth defects, ADHD, juvenile arthritis, autism, or severe injuries or burns.

Where Do You Get It?

Use our easy-to-use search and find an Occupational therapist that best fits your needs! Search Here