Occupational Therapy: Helping People Live Life to Its Fullest!
The field of occupational therapy has a long running history, with Eleanor Clark Slagle organizing the first formal educational program for occupational therapists around 1915. However, occupational therapy was around for many years prior to that. As early as the 1800s, William Rush Dunton Jr., who is known as "the father of occupational therapy" created the National Society for the Promotion of Occupational Therapy, which is now the American Occupational Therapy Association. During World War I, occupational therapists functioned as "reconstruction aides", assisting those who had physical dysfunction and/or mental health challenges.
Today, occupational therapy has expanded to a variety of settings, and occupational therapists (OTs) work with people from birth through the end of the lifespan. Occupational therapists help people with all kinds of conditions, including, but not limited to, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, feeding difficulties, sensory integration deficits, autism, Down syndrome, impaired strength and/or activity tolerance, and motor planning/coordination deficits. Occupational therapists help people in hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health settings, schools, rehabilitation centers, long term care facilities, and mental health centers. Occupational therapy is a holistic profession, meaning that therapists consider each person's unique circumstances to create an personalized treatment plan to help improve his or her performance in meaningful occupations.
Here at First Steps, our occupational therapists focus on the pediatric population. We have therapists who specialize in feeding, autism, behavioral techniques, and neurological rehabilitation. They use a variety of treatment methods to promote the development of all of the children they treat. Our therapists love forming relationships with the families they serve, and they enjoy being able to celebrate all of the little achievements and milestones each child and family member experiences! While our occupational therapists are not able to visit children in their homes at this time, they are adapting all of their treatment methods to facilitate virtual therapy sessions using telehealth. They are providing individualized, fun, and educational therapy sessions for each and every child who participates, and they have been working tirelessly to help families cope with the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently taking on new clients as well, so feel free to contact our referral manager if your child is in need of occupational therapy services!
Referral Manager: Kenna Tibbits
McColl, M., Law, M., Stewart, D., Doubt, L., Pollock, N., and Krupa, T. (2003.) Theoretical Basis of Occupational Therapy Second Edition. Thorofore, NJ: Slack Incorporated.
Moninger, Michel. “A Brief History of Occupational Therapy.”Myotspot.com, 6 Sept. 2019, www.myotspot.com/history-of-occupational-therapy/.