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What is Neuro Occupational Therapy?



What is Occupational Therapy?

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) describes OT as helping people “participate in their desired occupations with a therapeutic use of everyday activities, based on the client’s personal interests or needs.” We help people achieve what is important or necessary to them. OTs work across the developmental spectrum from early intervention, pediatrics, schools, workplace and geriatrics.


What is an OT’s role in neurorehab? What goals do they help people with?

Neurorehab can be found in a variety of settings to include acute care, rehabilitation centers, home and outpatient. An occupational therapist will complete an evaluation with the individual often including input from their family to determine the person’s goals and an appropriate treatment plan/interventions. OT interventions may include:

  • energy conservation techniques

  • sensory/neuromuscular re-education

  • visual perceptual training

  • coordination and balance

  • strengthening

  • pain management

  • education on adaptive equipment or durable medical equipment

These interventions help increase safety and independence in order to help them improve their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), functional mobility, and cognitive/ executive functioning skills with regard to the ability to perform instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).


What are some examples of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) that OTs help with? Activities of Daily Living (ADL) include, for example:

  • eating

  • bathing

  • dressing

  • grooming

  • toileting

Instrumental Activities of Daily Living include, for example:

  • driving

  • cooking

  • medication management

  • job duties

  • care of others

When should someone with a neurological impairment reach out for support from an OT? An OT can help if you are having difficulty performing your daily routine, if there are concerns about balance/safety, vision or cognition. If you find yourself needing more rest breaks or increased assistance from others, contact your primary care physician to ask for a prescription for home or outpatient OT.

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