Occupational therapy is an evidence-based treatment that helps people with brain injuries recover their ability to do all the things they want and need to do in daily life.
In occupational therapy these are called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).
From brushing teeth to paying the bills, we want people to engage fully in the tasks that everyday life requires.
Pate occupational therapists focus on a person’s ability to join in an activity, rather than the disability they may believe prevents them from participating.
As people gain confidence with encouragement and feedback, relearning skills can feel more like an enjoyable challenge that makes them excited to come to therapy each day.
Treatment may include activities like:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Pate’s dedicated occupational therapists don’t just train patients in the basics. They actively listen to the patient’s own goals and work on achieving those.
Special hobbies can be incorporated into therapy to make sure we’re helping people with what matters most to them. It might be playing a musical instrument again, scrapbooking or volunteering for a specific cause.
Recently one of Pate’s occupational therapists constructed a device for a patient who wanted to get back to crocheting but could only use one hand. That’s the kind of compassion and creativity these therapists are known for. Pate offers this rehab creativity because we understand every person is unique. And they deserve the extra effort to customize their recovery.
You’d be amazed at all the elements that go into performing even simple tasks.
In addition to the physical skills, Pate OTs also work on oculomotor skills, visual scanning, visual perception (such as finding objects in a busy background or distinguishing the difference between similar items), and executive function skills such as attention, memory, planning, organization, self-monitoring, or inhibition.
What other kinds of things do we work on?
• Anything to get you back to what you do during a typical day! We break down your big goals to work on return-to-driving, return-to-work, independent living, childcare, healthcare management, leisure…
• Motor skills – specifically hand and arm strength and coordination, and functional balance and walking. We may do constraint-induced movement therapy together for either your arm or leg.
• Vision – not just seeing clearly, but also how your eyes move together, scanning, eye-hand coordination skills, and compensating for any vision challenges.
• Cognition – work-based or pre-driving activities, cooking, crafts, etc. to work on attention, memory, problem-solving, and executive functioning.
• Visual Perception – this is how your brain makes sense of what your eyes see. Usually a lot of puzzles, eye hand coordination, and scanning training.
• Sleep and Mental Health – identifying strategies to help you sleep or feel better mentally/emotionally – we may do yoga, relaxation, or journals.
Pate therapists also help improve:
- Hand and finger strength
- Forearm pronation
- Pincer grasp
- Tactile perception
- Eye-hand coordination
Occupational therapists help people function in all of their environments. Occupational therapists consider the person’s home, work, school, and community to address the physical, psychological, and cognitive aspects of their well-being through engagement in occupation.
Pate occupational therapists also tackle real life issues.
- Perform home, school and workplace evaluations
- Provide driver training and evaluation
- Help with assistive devices if needed
- Establish a daily schedule & maintenance tips
- Provide cuing tools & reminder strategies
- Plan workplace accommodations
- Advise in career modification
- Provide task adaptions
- Work on skills redevelopment or enhancement
- Coach on return to work, return to school issues
Pate’s teams are made up of many professionals and their duties overlap. Physical therapists, psychologists, speech therapists and others may help with OT. Rehabilitation is a team effort.