Occupational therapy is involved with assessing, diagnosing and treating psychiatric and physical disabilities. It is the role of the occupational therapist to maximise an individual's ability to function independently within society and in their everyday activities.
What is Occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a healthcare discipline involved in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions. The main aim of occupational therapy is to prevent / lessen the impact a disability is having on an individual and to maximise their ability to function independently in their everyday lives.
What is an Occupational therapist and what do they do?
Occupational therapists are health professionals. They are fully trained and HPC (health professions council) registered. Occupational therapists assess, diagnose and treat physical and psychiatric conditions. It is the role of the occupational therapist to lessen the impact an individual's disability is having on their daily living and to support and promote their independent functioning of everyday living.
Occupational therapists work with both adults and children of all ages and abilities in a number of areas of discipline, these can include:
- Learning difficulties
- Equipment / adaptations for daily living
- Research posts
- Mental health
- care management
Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals and in the community. Common settings occupational therapists work in include:
- Educational environments
- Patient's homes
- Community centres and clinics
- Pre-school settings
- Nursing / residential homes
- Hospitals and GP practises
- Private clinics
- Public sector departments
- Charities and voluntary organisations
How do occupational therapists treat Autistic Spectrum Disorders and other related conditions?
Occupational therapist can assess, diagnose and treat the many difficulties experienced by individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other related conditions. Due to the wide variation of difficulties experienced by individuals with ASD, the type of treatment approach adopted will be different for each individual.
A detailed assessment will be carried by the occupational therapist which will assess the individual's functional abilities in their activities of daily living. Specialist questionnaires will also be given to the individual, their parents / carer and other professionals involved in their care. Questionnaires allow the therapist to evaluate how the individual manages in their everyday living across a number of settings, including their home, educational and social environments. Following an initial assessment the occupational therapist will devise an individualised treatment plan, which will be tailored to the specific needs and abilities of the individual.
Occupational therapy will help individuals with ASD and other related conditions by lessening the impact their difficulties are having on their activities of daily living. They will also support the individual's ability to function as independently as possible within society. Occupational therapist may achieve this through:
- Risk assessment- making sure the individual is safe within their environment and suggesting any adaptations that need to be made.
- Environmental adaptations.
- Equipment to aid the individual in activities of daily living e.g. specially fitted chairs, mobility aids etc.
- Sensory integration therapy - to support and manage specific difficulties experienced to senses e.g. oversensitivity or under sensitivity to light, touch, smell, noises and tastes.
- Advice, support and training for carers, educational staff and other health professionals.
- Breaking down task in to smaller steps, and then teaching the individual how to complete the task in a step by step manner.
- Behaviour management
- Self-care management
Occupational therapy is involved in the assessment, diagnosis and management of psychiatric and physical conditions. It is the role of the occupational therapist to maximise a patient's ability to function as independently as possible within society and their activities of daily living. Occupational therapists work with patients of all ages and abilities and work in a number of areas of speciality. Occupational therapists promote independent living and lessen the impact that disabilities are having on patients' lives, this will be done through a variety of interventions and approaches, which will be chosen to suit the patient's specific needs, abilities and preferences.
If you feel that occupational therapy would be beneficial and would like to book an appointment with one of our specialist occupational therapists please email firstname.lastname@example.org orcall 03300 886 693.