What Is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational therapy (OT) is a form of healthcare that gives people with either physical, sensory or cognitive issues the opportunity to become independent in their daily lives. It caters for individuals from all walks of life and ages. Through OT, you can overcome any difficulty and achieve ultimate freedom!
Occupational Therapists work to assist individuals in resolving the emotional, social, and physical obstacles they are facing. This is achieved through everyday activities such as exercises and other forms of therapy. OT offers a broad range of benefits for kids – from improving their school performance to strengthening their sense of accomplishment and boosting self-esteem! Most importantly, it can help them play more effectively or take part in daily tasks with greater ease:
- By honing fine motor skills, children can improve their hand-eye coordination and better manage toys. This is key in developing good handwriting or computer abilities as they grow older.
- Develop your children’s eye–hand coordination to ensure they can engage in sports, as well as comfortably perform school tasks such as batting a ball or writing from the chalkboard.
- Develop fundamental life skills such as bathing, getting dressed independently, brushing one’s teeth and eating on their own.
- Develop positive habits and social competencies by exercising how to regulate anger and cope with frustration.
- To assist in creating autonomy, special equipment such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing items and dressing aids are available. Additionally, communication tools can be used to facilitate further independence.
Who Might Need Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (OT) can help children and adolescents who have experienced:
- birth defects or injuries
- sensory processing disorders
- traumatic brain/spinal cord injuries
- learning challenges
- autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
- juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA)
- mental health issues or behavioral difficulties
- orthopedic trauma such as broken bones/sprains
- developmental delays
- post-surgical conditions
- burns or amputations resulting from accidents
- spina bifida
- cancer treatment
- severe hand traumas
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- cerebral palsy and other long-term illnesses.
How Do Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Differ?
Physical therapy (PT) is an incredible asset for children, as it improves their quality of life in many ways. PT helps with pain alleviation, building strength and endurance, expanding joint range of motion, and even strengthening gross motor skills like arm movements or entire body coordination. OT can also be incredibly useful to improve daily living activities such as dressing or eating independently.
Occupational therapy can aid in the development of small-muscle movements (made with hands, fingers and toes) such as grasping; visual perception skills; cognitive abilities; and managing sensory processing issues.
Who Can Perform This Type Of Therapy
The two primary career levels in occupational practices are:
- These therapists are medical professionals with specialized training and experience. They have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in areas such as biology, psychology or health science, followed by a master’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy program. With these qualifications, OTs possess the knowledge and expertise to help individuals improve their functioning skills in everyday life tasks.
- An Occupational Therapist Assistant (OTA) holds an Associate’s degree from a certified OTA program, and is capable of helping out with treatment plans established by an OT but not permitted to perform patient assessments.
Occupational Therapy and Occupational Therapy Assistants must pass a national certification exam, complete supervised fieldwork programs, obtain licensing in most states, and attend continuing education classes to remain certified.