What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapists (OTs) help people of all ages learn or relearn daily living skills such as eating, dressing, playing, working and engaging in recreational/leisure activities. Their medical training is a foundation for understanding a wide variety of conditions and challenges that can interfere with one’s ability to live life fully, such as illnesses, injuries, or disabilities. Adaptations and interventions can then be planned and implemented to facilitate optimal independence, engagement and fulfillment in everyday activities. Each OT session is different based on the patient’s abilities, and uses activities that are meaningful and motivating for each individual person. 

Occupational Therapy is often used in children with disabilities, allowing them to participate fully in school and social situations. Another common need for OT is for regaining skills after a debilitating injury. Skills an OT will work on with you or your child include:

  • Motor Skills: writing, using a fork and knife, playing on a playground, and more.
  • Self-Care: feeding, dressing, bathing, and more.
  • Feeding: tolerating food textures and types
  • Self-Regulation: the ability to get to and stay at an optimal alertness level
  • Social Integration: working on social behavior

Conditions Occupational Therapists Treat

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Neurotrauma
  • Sensory Impairment
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Amputees
  • Post-Stroke recovery
  • Post-Heart Attack recovery
  • Mental Health conditions
  • Down’s Syndrome and other genetically related conditions
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Work-related injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • ADHD
  • Any condition that impairs quality of life or independence
  • Arthritis

What to Expect at an Occupational Therapy Appointment

In an initial appointment, your Occupational Therapist will assess you or your child’s current level of function and what concerns are priorities to be addressed.  This involves looking at skill levels, abilities, and environment. Your OT will also go over any medical records, documents, or research related to your condition, to fully understand what steps are needed to maximize function. They will discuss your goals with you. Then specific treatment techniques are planned in order to address challenges present in order to facilitate maximal function across settings.

The following appointments will focus on implementing the adaptations. This involves working on a number of individualized exercises to help reach the goals you set forth in the initial appointment. Your personalized treatment plan will be reevaluated, as needed, to ensure progress.

Our Occupational Therapist

Denise Peick, OTR/L, C-SIPT, CST-T, is a licensed occupational therapist, with a certification in Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (C-SIPT) and extensive training in varied sensory based intervention techniques.