Understanding OT

Discover how OT has empowered people to live life to its fullest. Using creative and comprehensive solutions, the OT approach can be life-changing!

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What to expect

Occupational therapy is a collaborative process that requires trust, cooperation, and understanding between everyone involved. That’s why it’s important to know what you can expect from your OT, and what your OT expects from you.

Your first visit

The first appointment lets you and your OT get to know each other and will likely include an assessment. For your first visit, expect your OT to ask detailed questions about your health history, and your current challenges and goals. Your OT will explain how assessment and treatment works and discuss any potential risks related to the therapy. The first visit is also a good time for you to ask questions and get comfortable with the OT before beginning. 

The initial assessment

To create a treatment plan, your OT needs to look at what you can and cannot do, and any other factors that may affect your ability to do everyday activities. Depending on your situation, this assessment may look at:

  • Physical strength, motor skills, range of motion, and tolerance
  • Cognitive abilities, such as memory and judgement
  • Perceptual skills
  • Mental health
  • Function in areas of self-care, mobility, home management, community living, and other skills that help you manage day-to-day living
  • Ability to perform activities required in your job or at school
  • Environmental factors such as the physical accessibility of your home, school, or workplace
  • Social network and support systems

Your treatment plan

An OT treatment plan looks not only at what you can and cannot do but also your needs and what’s important to you. Like everything else in OT, developing a treatment plan is a partnership between the client, the OT and other members of the healthcare team. Your OT will work with you to find the best ways to help you meet your goals. Your occupational therapist will keep an eye on your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed. OTs can also provide consulting services, which would generally include a needs assessment, education, and recommendations that address your situation.

Working with a team

Many OTs today work as a part of a team of health professionals whose skills and services work well together. Your OT will let you know if it makes sense to plan your care with other members of the team, and will ask for your permission before sharing your information with others.

Ending treatment

Your OT will work with you throughout your treatment plan to achieve your goals. If you need to be sent to another OT – such as in when you move from hospital back to your home – your OT will provide documentation to ensure your new therapist has all the information needed to work with you.

Find an OT today

OTs can make a big difference in your life, whether you need help managing at home, school, work, in hospital or out in the community. Find an OT in Ontario or contact the Ontario Society of Occupational Therapists by calling 1-877-676-6768 or sending an email.