Developmental Services - Case Management Manual

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is concerned with stimulating independence and enhancing productive function. Occupational therapy concentrates on the areas of motor, perceptual motor, and personal/social skills. Indicators: Problems in reaching and grasping, poor self-help skills, difficulty in relating body to space.

An occupational therapist can useful in assessing and/or dealing with the following: 

  1. Balance problems not associated with skeletal or orthopedic problems.
  2. Upper extremity problems including:
    1. Strength, range of motion and/or deformities,
    2. Fine motor coordination,
    3. Asymmetry (not attributed to dominance).
  3. Self-help skills.
  4. Prevocational skills.
  5. Sensory problems:
    1. Eye movement,
    2. Eye/hand/foot coordination,
    3. Aversion to or lack of awareness of touch,
    4. fear of movement/too much movement.
  6. Tendency to not use either hands or arms for bimanual tasks
  7. Motor planning difficulty (problems learning new motor tasks).
  8. Need for adaptive equipment or methods to decrease deformity or increase function for;
    1. Vocational or prevocational tasks,
    2. cooking,
    3. Hygiene,
    4. dressing
    5. Other daily living skills.
  9. Visual/perceptual skills,
    1. Form and space perception,
    2. figure/ground perception, etc.
  10. Social Skills
  11. An occupational therapist can also help in determining learning style.