“Occupational therapy is skilled treatment that helps individuals achieve independence in all facets of their lives” (AOTA). It provides people with the skills necessary for a more independent and satisfying life. Occupational therapists work in a variety of service environments and across all age-levels. The focus of occupational therapy treatment is to enable participation in “occupations” – the meaningful activities, tasks, and roles in an individuals’ life. Occupations are categorized under the following performance areas: activity of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), education, work, play, leisure, and social participation.
Occupational therapists at Gateway Education Center recognize that many children have, or may develop, health conditions that have an impact on their ability to develop and to manage their daily lives in an educational environment. Occupational therapists work closely with the classroom staff, speech and physical therapists, and other professionals to help each student access and participate in their school curriculum.
When evaluating or planning treatment for an individual, occupational therapists focus on three aspects: the person – their skills and abilities; the task – the components required for successful engagement; and the environment – how context is affecting performance. Occupational therapy intervention implements the development of, changes toward, and adaptations to the person, task, and environment in the educational setting to make meaningful occupations more achievable.
At Gateway, there is also a strong focus on developing self-care skills to increase independence. Occupational therapists work with classroom staff and other therapists to develop self-feeding, dressing, toileting, hygiene, and grooming skills.
Occupational therapists at Gateway work both in and out of the classroom and with staff, parents, and professionals to provide each child with the opportunity to succeed.