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Occupational therapy

Creative activities and solutions to help adults and children build skills, gain confidence and improve quality of life.

If an illness, injury or disability has made it difficult for you or a child you know to manage daily life, occupational therapy can help.

An occupational therapist can help you develop the skills you need to be more independent, as well as safely meet your goals.

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What it is

Occupational therapy focuses on self-care, gross- and fine-motor skills, visual motor and perceptual skills, cognitive deficits and pain management. Occupational therapists specialize in helping you resume your daily activities and increase your independence.

Occupational therapy can help you with:

  • daily living tasks include dressing, feeding, cooking and laundry
  • developmental milestones
  • executive functioning including attention, memory, planning, reasoning and problem solving
  • gross motor and fine motor skills
  • handwriting and hand dexterity
  • pain management
  • school-based evaluations
  • sensory processing skills, including sensitivity training to touch, movement and noise
  • strength and coordination, like reaching, grasping and writing
  • thinking, reasoning and remembering skills, including problem solving, organization, attention span and following directions
  • visual perception and visual motor skills
  • wheelchair positioning and special equipment needs.

Therapy for children

Occupational therapy also can help children with autism, cerebral palsy, speech and language disorders, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and other special needs. Therapists and therapy assistants can help kids learn or regain skills to be able to participate at school or work, play, drive, shop, eat or even prepare a meal.

Occupational therapy can help children with:

  • activities that promote independence
  • adaptive equipment and techniques
  • assistive technology
  • hand therapy and writing skills
  • executive thinking activities
  • feeding skills
  • fine motor control activities
  • play skills
  • sensory tolerance to sensory processing
  • transitional skills in school and life
  • upper extremity strengthening.

These and other pediatric rehabilitation services for kids are offered in a fun, friendly and safe environment through Courage Kenny Kids.

Cognitive performance testing

Cognitive performance testing (CPT) may be used to assess thinking and processing skills that are important for independent living. Therapists will observe a person's performance on tasks that are new and those that are routine. These might include setting up medications, getting information over the phone and using money to purchase a familiar item. CPT is helpful for people who have a diagnosis of mild cognitive loss and/or dementia. Caregivers are encouraged to attend the session with the individual. They are included in the review of the test results. A referral is needed for CPT.

Good for treating

Our occupational therapists treat people with:

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • brain injury
  • cancer
  • cerebral palsy or other pediatric conditions
  • developmental delay
  • lower extremity amputation
  • lymphedema
  • movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease
  • neurological disorders
  • orthopedic conditions, like recovery from total knee and hip surgeries, back and neck problems, and sprains and strains of the shoulder wrist and hand
  • sports-related injuries, back problems and other injuries
  • spina bifida
  • spinal cord injury
  • stroke.

Good to know

A doctor's referral is needed to make a first appointment.

Therapists may recommend special equipment to help you perform daily activities at home and at work. Or they may work with you to help you learn to function without equipment. They may also offer guidance to family members and caregivers who are helping you with daily activities.

Related links

Source: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
Reviewed by: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute

First published: 10/3/2018
Last reviewed: 8/1/2018