Occupational Therapy (OT) is a form of treatment that aims to help adults and children who are experiencing physical, sensory, or cognitive impairments, improve their quality of life and become as independent as possible.
Occupational therapy assessments and occupational therapy evaluations play an important role in determining the specific areas a person is experiencing a deficiency in. For example, these assessments and evaluations can help to identify a sensory processing disorder, difficulties with fine motor and gross motor skills development, visual perception issues, problems with communication, and more.
Once deficiencies have been assessed and identified, an occupational therapist for adults or a pediatric occupational therapist for children can then design an effective treatment program that will aim to improve the deficiencies that an individual is experiencing. Through the treatment program, the individual will work with the occupational therapist, developing important skills that will help to improve his or her quality of life.
An occupational therapy evaluation is custom-tailored to fit the specific needs of each patient. A variety of evaluation techniques will be utilized to determine these specific needs, including:
- Formal tests
- Clinical observations
- Parent and teacher input
During an occupational therapy evaluation, the following skills may be assessed:
- Visual motor and visual perceptual skills
- Fine motor skills
- Gross motor skills
- Self-help skills, such as dressing, grooming, and feeding
- Executive functioning skills
- Communication skills
- Self-regulation skills
- Sensory processing abilities
These evaluations and the programs that are designed from the information gathered from them are not only beneficial for the individuals being treated, but they are also helpful for parents, as they can learn how to assist their children.
Occupational therapy evaluations are also important for designing Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and other academic programs that are intended to improve a child’s functioning and overall quality of life.