Health Services: Occupational Therapy (OT)

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Occupational Therapy (medically prescribed):

Occupational therapy (OT) uses meaningful and purposeful activities to help individuals participate and perform in their occupations (play, leisure, self-care, work, education, sleep/ rest, community mobility, and household chores). Through therapeutic approaches including remediating and building skills, education, adapting the activity, using adaptive equipment and technology, and/or modifying the environment, occupational therapy promotes “living life to the fullest” for everyone.

How does OT help the person with a disability or family support system?

OT seeks to promote health and wellness through engagement in meaningful and purposeful activities of everyday life. For example, if you are unable to brush your teeth due to disability or injury, OT will find a way for you to resume function or improve function to promote oral health and the mental health that comes from performing occupations. They also provide family trainings and education to maximize occupational engagement in the home and community.

The OT will provide a comprehensive evaluation, intervention, home program and recommended equipment for the client/ family.

What is the referral process?

Referrals can be made by a physician, another professional, or client and may range from a specific prescription (i.e. hand orthosis to resume daily occupations safely), general suggestions, or for evaluation and treatment. In Florida, occupational therapy practice does not require a physician’s prescription. However, some facilities, companies, insurances, HMOs and/or billing requirements mandate a physician’s prescription as a requirement for services. Click Here to find out more about OT.

Click Here to learn about OT IEP services

Recommended websites, YouTube videos, books on this topic:

Clients Describe how OT Changed Their Lives. Click Here for more on OT.

Make Play an Important Part of Your Family’s Day (AOTA)  Answers and resources about how occupational therapy can help children live life to its fullest. Click Here for more information. Choosing an Occupational Therapist. Click Here for more information.

Suggested questions or observations for parents to consider before selecting a provider?

  • What are my child’s strengths?
  • Are there any materials that will help my child perform in the classroom? At home?
  • How can you tell if my child is making progress?
  • Also, look for the following methods: direct, 1:1 treatment, a diagnostic evaluation should be provided, parent education should be an integral part of the treatment program, written goals for treatment are provided, listens to you, asks questions, and uses play and success.


Written by: Nicole Quint, Dr.OT, OTR/L

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