National Occupational Therapy Month

National Occupational Therapy Month

A team of 14 trained and licensed occupational therapists at The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital help patients to find ways to make everyday tasks easier and achieve independence in all areas of their lives.

Laura Gore an Occupational Therapist works with Khamar on the drums.

Occupational therapists work with children and teenagers in inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient services, and in specialty programs throughout the Hospital. They offer a wide range of diagnostic and rehabilitation services, including cognition and visual-perception, fine motor skills, sensory processing, strengthening and conditioning, retraining of life skills, assistive technology, and aquatic therapy.

Occupational therapists find meaningful and motivating factors that will enhance a patient’s rehabilitation process. Sensory processing issues and visual impairments are two of the many disorders therapists encounter with their patients. For example, patients with sensory processing issues might have difficulty processing loud noises or bright lights. Occupational therapists make environments suitable for those patients, allowing them to work on everyday activities.

Visual impairments range from low vision, blindness, Cortical Vision Impairment (a decreased visual response due to a neurological problem affecting the visual part of the brain), and limited field of view. Finding the patient’s visual limitation provides the therapists with a strategy to overcome them. If a patient has low vision or is blind, occupational therapists use textures and sounds to work with them. By outlining words or pictures with various textures, patients can interact with the story as it is being read.

Emery works with her Occupational Therapist Aubree McGee on a visual exercise.

Patients with Cortical Vision Impairment often respond to red and yellow colors or shiny and reflective materials. Therapists find what colors patients can see and use those color to stimulate them. “If you add a colorful toy in a busy, patterned environment and a patient doesn’t react, you might think they cannot see. Working to find what colors they can see and then motivating them with those colors allows us to stimulate them,” said Brittany Essaili, occupational therapist at The Children Center Rehabilitation Hospital.

Whether it’s making tasks easier or developing strategies to help patients gain independence, occupational therapists are committed to their patient’s recovery process.

If you would like to donate to the Hospital to help fund our therapy programs, please click here.

 

 

 

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