Who are the Occupational Therapist’s patients?
An OT works with a wide range of people of different ages and backgrounds for a variety of reasons. The basis of their work is to help people who are physically, developmentally, socially, mentally, or emotionally impaired when it comes to performing everyday tasks required in life. An OT’s patient is one with a disability, an injury, or mental illness.
Therapy focuses on restoring the independence of an individual so they can, as far as possible, achieve a sense of autonomy, be productive in work or school and contribute to the wider community. For children with disabilities like cerebral palsy and autism, the Occupational Therapist will develop interventions that help them to function in a school setting, give them independence with regard to self-care, and tools to engage in social situations. In adults, support from an OT is usually required when dealing with cognitive or physical changes that impact their day-to- day living.
This can be for reasons associated with mental illness or physical injury. Because an OT regards the patient as a whole – and not just from a physical or medical point of view – treatment promotes the patient’s overall health and wellness, including the emotional and psychological
aspects as well.