OT/PT - Whitney Haber & Colleen Stitt
Occupational Therapy In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
Occupational therapy services in the school setting include:
• A comprehensive evaluation to determine a need for services related to academic performance
• Developing child specific goals with the IEP team to assist in reaching a student’s optimal performance
• Working on fine motor, visual motor and self-help skills
• Assessing a child’s sensory processing (which is the ability to process and interpret sensory input for the environment and create appropriate responses to environmental demands)
• Adapting the classroom setting to better fit the needs of a student (i.e. desk positioning, lighting, noise)
• Consult with teachers & caregivers to assist with carry-over of services. *Carry-over is key!*
Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team.
Role of a Physical Therapist
Taken directly from the website of the American Physical Therapy Association
“Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who diagnose and treat individuals of all ages, from newborns to the very oldest, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs examine each individual and develop a plan using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.
Physical therapists provide care for people in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, schools, sports and fitness facilities, work settings, and nursing homes. State licensure is required in each state in which a physical therapist practices.”
APTA on the internet. 1/15/2011. American Physical Therapy Association. 2/15/2012 http://www.apta.org/PTCareers/RoleofaPT/.
Intensive Education and Clinical Expertise
All physical therapists are required to receive a graduate degree from an accredited physical therapy program prior to taking a national licensure examination. Of the 212 accredited programs throughout the United States, 9 programs offer a Master of Physical Therapy degree and 203 offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. By December 31, 2015 all programs will be doctorate programs.