When I was 17 graduating from high school I did not know what field I wanted to pursue. I kind of wanted to be a teacher, physical therapist and psychologist all at once. At a college fair I learned about Occupational Therapy. It was exactly what I wanted. Alhamdulilah, I graduated with my ASc., took the boards and began working with my license 2 years later at 19. Having worked for a few years plus the experience I wanted to purse my BSc. in it. I know that Allah/God placed me in this direction to show and teach me some of the most important lessons of life. Almost 10 & 1/2 years later I am still being taught that the differences amongst people are huge in every detail of living. Truly no two people are the same, and yet everyone has circumstances that are designed to be reflected upon. Being an occupational therapist humbles me, and reminds me that everyone has challenges in life, but that the ones who seem most content and at peace with themselves are those who are grateful, Muslim or not. Allah has put me in positions of evaluating many elders along the years who are physically and mentally incapable of everything..with them my time is focussed on family intervention and things like positioning and splinting to prevent further deformity or bed soars. Allah has put me in the faces of children who are severely handicapped with cerebral palsy with a role of teaching their mothers how to feed them in the easiest way. Allah has placed before my eyes a mother in her 20's with 3 small children, who got into an accident and lost both her legs. I was left to teach her how to get around in her own home with adaptive equipment. Allah has showed me people with significant schizophrenia at a state facility, and I had a goal for that 40-something year-old man to perform money management skills adequately with proper social skills with supervision; oh and another 45 year old man who was living in a nursing home because of Multiple Sclerosis...yup for the rest of his life. My question is this: how can someone see all these things and not be awake to the power and glory of Allah?? Everytime I get stressed out about something stupid, I try remind myself of these incidents. I have no right to be stressed!!! SubhnaAllah. I pray that my work in OT is accepted by Allah. Because at the end the REAL paycheck granted by Mercy, in the Hereafter, is what really counts. Below is what OT is all about. I adapted it from the link that you'll find by clicking the title of this post above. I know the differences can get confusing and often times it's difficult to distinguish between who's doing the physical therapy vs. occupational therapy. I'm the OT with an "O" & I work lots with those with the "P"! So, for whatever it's worth or not worth(!)... April is OT Month..
The person who needs occupational therapy could be your father or mother facing changes because of aging. It could be your child, frustrated with being unable to do the seemingly simple things the other children at school can do. It could be you or your spouse coping with illness or the results of an accident. It could be anyone who, for whatever reason, can't do the things in life they want or need to do because of a chronic or sudden change in functional ability.
Occupational therapy is therapy based on performing the meaningful activities of daily life (self-care skills, education, work, or social interaction), especially to enable or enhance participation in such activities despite impairments or limitations in physical or mental functioning. Occupational therapy is for individuals of all ages-to improve skills that help them perform daily tasks at home and at school, at work and at play.
Occupational therapy practitioners are skilled professionals. Their education includes the study of human growth and development, with specific emphasis on the social, emotional and physical effects of illness and injury. They help individuals with illnesses, injuries, certain conditions or disabilities get on with their "occupations" of living.
Occupational therapy is a unique profession that considers the whole picture when it comes to a person's treatment including the individual's abilities, the task to be performed, and the environment in which the task takes place.
In a team of healthcare specialists, a surgeon, for example, will operate on your injured knee. A physical therapist will devise a series of exercises to help the knee heal properly with a maximum range of motion. An occupational therapist will ask, "What do you need your knee to do? What activities do you want to do, so you can adapt (the way you walk, drive, move around at home, etc.) to that knee," thereby determining the right treatment for keeping you mobile and an active participant in your own life.
To find out how your child can receive occupational therapy through school, The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHCY) has a good reference document that provides detailed information: The American Occupational Therapy Association offers Tip Sheets for Consumers to help you cope with specific medical situations facing your child.
Adults: Occupational therapists perform a variety of services for individual adults, such as rehabilitation therapy after a work injury or accident. Occupational therapists also work in consultation with employers and community based organizations on a number of fronts, from program and facility design to day-to-day operations. Occupational therapists serve as advisors to manufacturing and service companies in areas covering wellness, ergonomics, and rehabilitation. Community organizations, government agencies, even construction companies confer with occupational therapists to develop programs to meet the needs of specific populations in the area of community mobility, wellness, facility design, and universal accessibility. The American Occupational Therapy Association offers Tip Sheets for Consumers to help individuals cope with specific medical situations, and to determine how an occupational therapist can help improve wellness and accessibility in the community.
Elderly: Nearly one-third of occupational therapy practitioners work with older adults. They perform many types of activities, employing many types of therapies, with the overriding goal of helping older adults regain or maintain a level of independence that will allow them to age in place for as long as possible. Occupational therapy has been proven effective for seniors living with various medical conditions or recovering from surgery. In addition to working with individuals to increase strength or regain important life supporting skills, occupational therapists work throughout a community, counseling families, local governments, and community groups to ensure that each is doing what it can to help older adults maintain their independence.