What is occupational therapy?
The role of an occupational therapist involves helping people optimize activities of daily living, such as:
- Addresses challenges related to posture and seating position for eating and drinking
- Sensory, motor, and visual perceptual skills used for self-feeding
- Muscle strength and tone
- Coordination, including getting food to the mouth
- Picky eating
- Other sensory issues
- Pain management
Occupational therapists (OTs) specialize in maximizing an individual’s ability to engage in preferred activities with the least restriction possible. This can include intervention at the individual level, modification of the environment, or adaptation of the task itself to increase independence. OTs can use their skills to address deficits that can negatively impact an individual’s ability to feed themselves safely and communicate effectively. These skills include strengthening the orofacial muscles, increasing coordination of oral muscles, decreasing sensitivity of the oral cavity, and chewing/swallowing abilities. OTs can create an individual intervention to help you or your loved one reach their highest level of functioning.