Occupational Therapy and Assessment

  • What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement

 

What do occupational therapists do?

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  • Working with children
  • Rehabilitation and aged care
  • Acute care
  • Injury management
  • Mental health

Occupational therapy involves helping children and adolescents with their occupations – their activities. Children and adolescents sometimes need specific strategies so that they can learn to participate in activities with other people. Occupational therapy intervention addresses key ‘doing’ SKILLS which children and adolescents are having difficulty with such as:

  • Fine motor– puzzles, construction activities, colouring, drawing, cutting, handwriting legibility and speed, typing skills
  • Written expression– thinking up and organising ideas on paper with structure and coherence, essay writing
  • Gross motor– ball skills, skipping, jumping
  • Self care– dressing, eating, hygiene, toileting
  • Play– imaginative play, purposeful, structured and sequenced play
  • Social– friendship, dealing with feelings

Occupational therapy intervention also addresses different UNDERLYING ABILITIES which may be causing problems for these skills. Underlying abilities may be:

  • Mechanical difficulties– posture, seating, muscle tone and pencil grip
  • Sensory abilities– coordination, sensory processing, body awareness, balance, motor planning
  • Cognitive abilities– attention, memory, organisation and planning
  • Personal abilities– motivation, confidence, enjoyment and perseverance