The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapists work with the disabled, the elderly, newborns, school-aged children, and with anyone who has a permanent or temporary impairment in their physical or mental functioning. The aim of occupational therapy is to help the client to perform daily tasks in their living and working environments, and to assist them to develop the skills to live independent, satisfying, and productive lives.

Interventions used by Occupational therapists to achieve greater independence by clients include rehabilitation of neuropsychological deficits (memory, attention, complex reasoning), motor function, sensory function (vision, perception of touch), interpersonal skills ( skills). The medium of treatment usually involves the use of purposeful activities, which have some meaning and relevance to clients' lifestyle (these are also called 'occupations' and include routine behaviors associated with work, leisure and self care.)

Another important area of intervention is by means of environmental manipulation to maximize ability (such as environments for wheelchair users) or afford the desired behaviors (e.g. set up the environment so that it contains cues to compensate for memory impairment).

Last updated: 02-10-2005 20:21:20
Last updated: 05-03-2005 17:50:55