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What is an Occupational Therapist?

According to the "American Occupational Association": Occupational therapy practitioners ask, "What matters to you?" not "What's the matter with you?" In its simplest terms, occupational therapists help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to fully participate in school and social situations. Occupational therapy services typically include: an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. They may also provide recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person.

Treatment Approaches

Handwriting Without Tears

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Handwriting without Tears curriculum is designed to make legible and fluent handwriting an automatic, mastered skill. Leveled kits and curriculum guide individuals through tasks such as early multi-sensory handwriting instruction to perfecting cursive. 

Sensory Integration

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Sensory integration therapy is one technique used by occupational therapists (OTs). Through fun and play-based activities, OTs attempt to change how the brain reacts to touch, sound, sight and movement.

Sometimes, one sensory area is over responsive (hyperresponsive) while another needs more information (hyporesponsive). Sensory integration therapy can help to ‘balance’ and regulate an individual’s sensory system. 

Feeding Therapy

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Feeding, eating and swallowing are activities of daily living (ADLs) that are fundamental in our lives. Occupational therapists provide essential services in the comprehensive management of problems that affect feeding, eating, and swallowing. OTs have a holistic perspective and intervention focuses on the components that enhance the individual’s ability to participate in eating and feeding.  

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