How Occupational Therapy can help

  • We care about 'doing'.

  • When we do (participate) in our activities (occupations) we feel better 

Video from You Tube - Royal Collage of Occupational Therapy website

Occupational therapy provides practical support to empower people to facilitate recovery and overcome barriers preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them. This support increases people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

"Occupation" as a term refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure.

Think about your day-to-day life; would you be able to cope or live fully if you couldn't see your friends? Or couldn’t get out of bed in the morning? 

RCOT, 2018

 

Occupational therapy and children:

 Daily life is made up of many activities (or occupations). Occupations for children or young people may include self-care (getting ready, grooming activities, eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (going to nursery or school, or volunteering) and leisure (playing with friends or doing hobbies).

  • We will work on fine motor and handwriting skills - this can be limited for children with autism, dyspraxia and ADHD

  • We can help with dressing and doing your own shoe laces - children with fine motor difficulties will have difficulties with personal care 

  • We can support with equipment for seating at home and school - some children with sensory issues may benefit from external supports 

Occupational therapy and learning disabilities and mental health:

We help people to continue and develop life skills, work and leisure activities as independently as possible. 

  • We will work with individuals, families and support workers so they understand the importance of taking part in everyday activities

  • We can help people with learning disabilities to get involved in activities around the home, such as cooking

  • We can support people to develop parenting skills

  • We can support with sensory needs and appropriate activities to offer. 

Occupational therapy and older adults:

We help older people and people with dementia to continue doing the daily activities that maintain their health and wellbeing and are important to them.:

  • We understand the difficulties and work with the older person to find ways of having more social contact. Including offering local groups.

  • Developing strategies to increase a person's confidence when meeting new people

  • Recommending equipment, such as a walking aid, so the person feels confident when out and about

  • Help understand carers how to engage someone with dementia in activities and occupations which are meaningful. 

Occupational therapy and neurodiversity: 

Sometimes we can have difficulties with our daily living skills without a formal diagnosis. Some adults have always questioned whether they have a motor movement disorder like Development Coordination Disorder (DCD) / dyspraxia or whether they have difficulties with processing their sensory information.  

  • We can complete standardised assessments and observations to help explain your difficulties

  • We can write formal reports for higher education and the workspace 

  • We can offer ongoing coaching sessions to enhance your performance in everyday occupations. 

Adapted from RCOT, 2018 www.rcot.org.uk