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Occupational Therapists: roles and benefits

Along with other allied health professionals providing support to NDIS participants are also occupational therapists. What do they do? how can they help participants? what benefits will the participant get? This article will provide you the right information you need. In its simplest definition, an occupational therapist is a healthcare professional whose expertise focuses on helping people to successfully perform activities in the areas that they value like :

  • work

  • school

  • hobbies

  • social situations

  • household tasks

The OT will make interventions to the participant which promote independence, health, prevention of injury or further disability.


Common examples of what they do include:


  • Provides assistance on physical changes

  • Designs tailored fit intervention

  • Determines occupational treatment plan

  • Makes progress check of the individual- evaluates results by observing, noting, and evaluating patient’s

  • Guidance in doing self-care tasks

  • Provides guidance on exercises that will help relieve pain

  • Coordinate respite care

  • Organize home and vehicle modifications

  • Recommends ATs and demonstrates how to use them

  • Assists children with disabilities towards school participation, hobbies, and sport

  • Helps develop or regain physical or mental functioning or adjust to disabilities

What are the benefits of occupational therapy?


· Improves range of motion and strength

· Improves visual skills

· Provides caregiver training

· Improves endurance

· Improves functional cognition

· What to expect from an occupational therapist?

The OT will make an initial assessment to make an insight on the individual’s profile, so he or she may ask for medical history information, day-to-day activities and challenges, abilities, and goals. In some cases, the OT may ask the individual to perform a task to get a full glimpse of the challenges the participant is facing. The OT might also explore the individual’s home, school, community, and workplace and assess ways on how these can facilitate the current needs of the individuals. Once the OT has a clear idea of the person’s circumstances and goals, they will use that information to develop a treatment plan. It is part of the responsibility of the OT to make progress notes of the individual, he or she will also assess any new challenges or barriers and in some cases, this will lead to change in the treatment plan.


An occupational therapist or Physical therapist?


People often interchange occupational therapy and physical therapy, this has led to grey areas for participants on what and who will they tap that will tailor-fit to their needs.

To recap, an occupational therapist focuses on improving an individual’s ability to perform the day-to-day task while a physical therapist focuses on helping people improve their movement like help the individual cope with stiff muscles, manage pain and recover from surgery. Occupational therapists work together with other allied health professionals in order to help you achieve your goals. If you think, that you will benefit much from an occupational therapist, then have a chat with your LAC or support coordinator.


Do you have NDIS plan? Get Plan Managed with Yogi Care and access both NDIS-registered and non-registered service providers.

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