Occupational therapies are treatment focusing on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives.

This treatment can offer adults and kids with various needs, positive activities to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills. The desired outcome is to enhance the patient’s self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.

Some people may think that occupational therapy is only for adults; children, after all, do not have occupations. But a child’s main job is playing and learning. An occupational therapist can evaluate a child’s skills for play activities, school performance, and activities of daily living and compare them with what is developmentally appropriate for that age group.

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), in addition to dealing with an individual’s physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that may hinder an individual’s functioning in different ways. This unique approach makes occupational therapy a vital part of health care for some kids.

So who might use an occupational therapy practitioner? Following medical problems may benefit from OT:

  • birth injuries or birth defects
  • sensory processing/integrative
  • disorders
  • traumatic injuries (brain or spinal cord)
  • learning problems
  • autism
  • pervasive developmental disorders
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • mental health or behavioral problems
  • broken bones or other orthopedic injuries
  • developmental delays
  • post-surgical conditions
  • burns
  • spina bifida
  • traumatic amputations
  • cancer
  • severe hand injuries
  • multiple sclerosis, celebral palsy, and other chronic illnesses