What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the therapeutic process of empowering individuals to function in their environment as desired. "Occupations" are any meaningful activities that an individual engages in. This can include self care, home care, health management, sleep, education, work, play/leisure, and social participation. Please refer to AOTA for further descriptions of each category.

Occupational therapy (OT) may be beneficial an individual is having trouble participating in one of these activity areas. The reasons an individual may not be able to engage are varied, but they may be a result of an injury, a progressive disease, or difficulty attaining new skills as a result of a specific diagnosis. In occupational therapy, you or your loved one and your OT will target the underlying needs and skills required to engage in the tasks necessary for meaningful interaction in your environment.


Clinician leading a pediatric occupational therapy session with pediatric patient laying down in round swing collecting toys and putting them in a box

What can I expect during an OT evaluation?

After the office has received your referral from your doctor or your child's pediatrician, you will be able to access the patient portal. On the portal you will have several forms to fill out prior to your arrival. This will allow your evaluating therapist to identify the most valuable form of assessment to use during your evaluation visit. You may also receive an email asking you to fill out a form. This will be different from the paperwork in the portal. Please fill this out to the best of your ability prior to your evaluation visit. 

Once you arrive to the clinic, you will be taken back to the OT room. There, the therapist will ask follow-up questions and get to know your child or yourself. Depending on the area of concern that brings you to Wildflower Therapy, the OT will observe and assess engagement with a variety of tasks that will inform what future therapy sessions may look like. 

If needs are noted that fall within the domains of occupational therapy practice, you, your child, and the OT will collaborate to establish the goals of therapy. Anticipate that some goals will be foundational skills necessary for a long-term goal. For example, we may need to target posture before addressing feeding. Please do not hesitate to share all goals and ideas with the OT, they will help you determine where the best starting place will be!

Common Diagnoses that are seen in OT are shared below:

Cerebral Palsy
Birth Injuries
Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities
Traumatic Injuries
Developmental Delay
Developmental Disabilities
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorder
Learning Disabilities
Spina Bifida
Anxiety & Depression
Feeding Disorders
Orthopedic related diagnoses
Limb Differences
Emotional/Behavioral Challenges
Parkinson's Disease
Head & Neck Cancer

Sensory Products Your OT May Recommend on Amazon:

Feeding Products Your OT May Recommend on Amazon: