Occupational therapy interventions aim to help those with functional limitations to become as self-sufficient as possible in their daily lives. Occupational therapists often work with those who have mental health, cognitive, sensory or physical difficulties to improve their daily living skills and autonomy.
Interventions commonly focus on skill development in the following areas;
- Attention and executive functioning: Individuals may have attention deficits when attempting to maintain self-care activities, and may be unable to recall how to perform a task, or be poor at organising the steps involved in a task.
- Sensory processing: Some individuals have problems with distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant sensory stimuli. Sensory modulation deficits can result in an individual being overly sensitive to sensory input, potentially making them easily distracted, feeling overwhelmed or distressed. Or conversely, they may be hyposensitive and fail to observe critical sensory material.
- Motor skills: The development of fine and gross motor skills is essential to complete daily living tasks. Motor performance skills include range of motion, strength and endurance, awareness of one’s body, dexterity, grasp and coordination.
- Anxiety Management: A common barrier to achieving improved function can be the individual’s experiences with anxiety, which may be creating a block to participation or skill development. Occupational therapy can assist the individual to develop strategies to manage anxiety and build a gradual desensitisation to certain environments, activities and circumstances.