Occupational Therapy is concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. The term “occupation” means “activity.” Occupational Therapists achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation.
OT serves the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of people will all different types of illnesses, injuries and disabilities in a wide variety of settings. The practice of Occupational Therapy can greatly vary according to the setting and clientele.
At New Horizons Academy, we serve children and adults of all ages who, for whatever reason, may be facing challenges carrying out their activities of daily living. These activities are commonly categorized under the following areas:
- Productivity (i.e. school or work)
- Leisure and play
- Rest and sleep
Barriers to participation in these areas of life may be due to physical or cognitive challenges, developmental delay, aging, injuries or surgery, and social and emotional issues. In these activities or areas of occupation, Occupational Therapy can assist to address issues at school, home or work which may be impacting someone’s day to day function.
Occupational Therapy sessions at NHA are fun and engaging, using modern and interactive play and therapy equipment. Our goal is to collaborate with families and teachers to better serve the needs of you and/or your child.
The main benefit and goal of Occupational Therapy is the mastery of skills that help clients develop, recover, or maintain daily living skills. The goal of an Occupational Therapist is to help individuals have independent, productive and satisfying lives.
With certain benefits of Occupational Therapy, it is easy to measure progress, such as improving a client’s skills to achieve independence in feeding, bathing, dressing and other self-care activities. Other benefits of OT are less obvious and may include:
- Creating interventions to help a client appropriately respond to information coming through the senses. Intervention may include developmental activities, sensory integration or sensory processing, and play activities.
- Facilitating activities that instruct as well as aid a client in interacting and communicating with others.
- Identifying, developing or adapting engagement in meaningful activities that enhance the client’s quality of life.
- Reducing environmental barriers that limit a client’s participation in family, learning and community based activities.
- Identifying needed assistive technology devices and supports.
- Preparing the family and client for changes in roles and routines.
- Educating the family on the diverse needs of the client.
- Enhancing social skills development and leisure activities in the school environment.
- Assisting with school mobility, recommending adaptations, accommodations and equipment.
Occupational Therapists target desired outcomes and determine the services, supports, and modifications or accommodations needed to achieve those outcomes.
At New Horizons Academy, we offer an individualized approach to assessing a client’s functional capacity and customizing interventions to achieve family-centered goals. This is achieved through supporting a person to learn new skills, modifying a task or activity and/or making changes to one’s environment, to enhance their level of functioning and safety and achieve even greater independence.
We follow the following Occupational Therapy process method:
- Information gathering
- Initial assessment
- Needs identification/problem formation
- Goal setting
- Action planning
- Ongoing assessment and revision of action
- Outcome and outcome measurement
- End of intervention or discharge
Through an understanding of the impact of disability, illness and impairment on the way a client develops, plays and learns new skills, Occupational Therapists improve a client’s ability to participate in daily life. Since each client is unique, the goals and outcomes of the therapy treatment plan will be specific to that client and his or her needs.
This means that the therapy is ongoing until the client attains the necessary skills. Once skills are mastered in one area, say self-care, the therapy will focus on other skills that are needed to be functional in the community. The nature of the therapy depends on the client’s disability, how quickly he or she learns new skills and the goals of the family.