- The primary goal of Occupational Therapy (OT) is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. OT’s achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate in activities, or by modifying the environment/activity to better support participation.
- Occupational therapists help clients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities, but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. Their goal is to help clients have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
- Occupational therapists assist clients in performing activities of all types, ranging from using a computer to caring for daily needs such as dressing, cooking, and eating. Physical exercises may be used to increase strength and dexterity, while other activities may be chosen to improve visual acuity and the ability to discern patterns. For example, a client with short-term memory loss might be encouraged to make lists to aid recall, and a person with coordination problems might be assigned exercises to improve hand-eye coordination. Occupational therapists also use computer programs to help clients improve decisionmaking, abstract-reasoning, problem-solving, and perceptual skills, as well as memory, sequencing, and coordination— all of which are important for independent living.
- Therapists instruct those with permanent
disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, or muscular
dystrophy, in the use of adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs,
orthotics, and aids for eating and dressing. They also design or make
special equipment needed at home or at work. Therapists develop
computer-aided adaptive equipment and teach clients with severe
limitations how to use that equipment in order to communicate better and
control various aspects of their environment.
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