Occupational Therapy

What is an Occupational Therapist?

An Occupational Therapist is a professional who works with others to help them regain or develop skills needed for daily living, work, and leisure activities. Occupational Therapy breaks down challenging tasks and then adapts the task so it becomes successful. For example, a person may have difficulty with driving after sustaining a head injury due to being unable to tolerate the amount of visual stimulation. An Occupational Therapist would assess many areas such as visual skills, motor skills, balance, and processing speed. By looking at the foundational skills and building upon them the therapist can determine where the strengths are and where the deficits begin.  They can then help the client start to build upon what skills they already have to be as independent as possible.

Occupational Therapy

Why Would Someone Attend Occupational Therapy?

A person who is noticing difficulties with skills they were previously able to perform would benefit from having an  assessment performed to identify any areas that might need to be addressed. Areas assessed could include:

  • Gross Motor Skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Auditory Processing Skills (sensitive to sound, not understanding people, not recalling what others have said, difficulty processing phone messages)
  • Visual Processing Skills (figure ground, scanning, reading, tracking, difficulty driving, difficulty walking in crowds)
  • Light Sensitivity & Sound Sensitivity (too loud or bright, even in the home)
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Attention
  • Sequencing
  • Multi-tasking (cooking and talking on the phone, helping with homework and washing the dishes)

Who Could Benefit from Occupational Therapy?

Anyone who feels they are not performing at the same level they have been or someone who has one of the following diagnoses:

  • Stroke
  • Brain Injury/Concussion
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Developmental Condition
  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Vestibular/Balance Disorders
  • Visual Disturbances (poor tracking, scanning, and reading skills)
  • Cancer

We utilize various practices to help the client in their recovery.

  • Identify and provide options for clients experiencing difficulties with various Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s)
  • Strengthen musculoskeletal and neurological areas that are causing disability whenever possible.
  • Provide strategies and activities to address sensory processing disorders, including disorders related to vision, hearing, touch and vestibular stimulation.
  • Identify ways to reduce risks of injuries and suggest potential improvements in the home or workplace.
  • Educate patient’s family about how to care for the client and how to facilitate therapeutic goals.
  • Recommend way to assist in performing activities of daily living as independent as possible.

Integrated Listening Systems (iLs)

The Integrated Listening System (iLs) works primarily on the auditory, visual and language performance of the brain. The client listens to specifically filtered and acoustically designed music with bone conduction headphones. The frequency of the music and other scientific augmentation to the program facilitate neuronal growth in the brain. There are 2 different treatment options to use iLs:

  • Receptive Language (receiving the information)
  • Expressive Language (producing the information and speaking the information)

The Receptive Language program has the client listen to the scientifically filtered and designed music while the client performs therapeutic activities to develop skills. The Expressive Language program is designed to assist in growth from understanding sounds to listening and repeating communication conversations in a noisy background. Both programs take the client from low level introduction thru the highest level achievable. This system utilizes modern technology of an iPod, amplifier, and bone conduction headphones.

Learn More About Integrated Listening

Interactive Metronome (IM)

The Interactive Metronome utilizes today’s modern technology to assist clients in creating neuronal growth by providing immediate feedback to motor activities. The client performs an activity such as both hands clapping, alternating toe tapping, or tapping one hand. Based on their ability to perform the activity with a metronome beat they receive a positive sound or a buzzer sound to each clap. The client must sustain attention to the task, filter auditory information, and adjust their performance to each and every rhythmic beat over time. This immediate feedback is the key to positive neuronal growth that will assist the client in achieving many different goals such as, processing speed, rhythm, timing, coordination, motor control, planning, balance, attention, problem solving, and more.

Learn More About Interactive Metronome

FitLight Trainer

FitLight training uses light and sound targets with motor and cognitive activities to provide a dynamic and visual learning framework to enhance sensory and motor skills, concentration, perception, reactivity and more.

Sensory Integration (SI)

The sensory system is how we take in and process the world around us. Vision is how we see our friends coming toward us. A dog barking alerts us to pay attention. The smell of chocolate chip cookies puts a smile on our face. When these systems do not work correctly, our perception of the world changes. If your visual perception is not working you may not see the curb on the street. You may skip lines when reading a book, causing frustrating when you have to re-read. The noise of your kids loudly playing may sound like fire truck sirens going off right next to you. Walking down the hallway and turning the corner may make you dizzy and nauseated. This is how it would feel if your sensory system did not work well.

“When living with a neurological condition, it can be very easy to focus on the challenges and limitations. But, in my life, I have found that focusing on abilities, finding new ways to adapt, have been crucial to my successes in life.” Lynn Soraya (blogger)