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Occupational Therapy FAQs

Woman talking to patient about occupational therapy

What is the purpose of Occupational Therapy?

  • Occupational Therapists work to assess, determine need and abilities, and provide appropriate intervention, education, and community resources. The ultimate purpose is the promotion of skills, safety, productivity, and independence throughout the lifespan. 
  • Speech Language Pathologists diagnose and treat disorders in speech sound production, language understanding and expression, literacy, pragmatic/social language within interactions, how someone’s voice sounds, fluency of speech, and cognitive communication (thinking skills).  

How often are appointments and how long do they last?

  • Appointments may be 1x – 2x/week, every other week or once a month, and typically run 30-45 minutes. They are scheduled after the initial evaluation is completed.
  • Treatment plans are typically established for one year. Progress toward goals is monitored monthly. Yearly reassessment of skills is conducted, and results are reviewed with parents.

What kinds of things are done in a session?

Treatment plans are individualized and specific to each patient’s needs.  

Children learn skills through play and functional activities. Treatment sessions incorporate opportunities for these activities along with structured exposure to age-appropriate and functional tasks, and speech and language concepts.

Examples of Occupational Therapy treatments may include, but are not limited to goals around:

  • motor skills
  • DLs (e.g. self-care, dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming, hygiene, etc.
  • IADLs (e.g. household management, money management, organizational, etc.
  • sensory integration and regulation
  • cognitive skill
  • functional play
  • social engagement
  • leisure exploration
  • exploration of post-high school vocations and secondary education
  • community resources

Examples of Speech and Language treatments may include but are not limited to goals around:

  • articulation and speech production
  • receptive and expressive language processing
  • social pragmatic language skills
  • general listening, reading, writing, thinking, and reasoning skills

What is my role as parent/guardian in treatment?

  • This is a collaborative environment in which the treatment team, patient, and parent/caregivers identify the current needs of the individual. Clinicians will work with parents to evaluate and develop a treatment plan, collaborate, modify intervention, provide education to promote effective strategies, and identify potential community resources to implement into the patient’s lifestyle/environments. 
  • Parents are a vital participant in the process of carrying over their child’s progress to everyday interactions.