What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a health profession that is client-centred and works towards promoting health and well-being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists achieve this by working with people to develop their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by adapting the occupation or the environment to support their occupational engagement.

Occupational therapists work within a medical, social behavioural, psychological, psychosocial and occupational science context which equips them with the attitudes, skills and knowledge to work collaboratively with people, individually or in groups. Occupational therapists can work with all people, including those who have an impairment of body structure or function owing to a medical condition, or who are restricted in their participation and/or who are socially excluded due to their areas of difficulty.

Occupational therapy practice is focused on enabling individuals to change aspects of their person, the occupation, the environment or some combination of these to enhance occupational participation. Clients are actively involved in the therapy process. The outcomes are client-centred and measured in terms of participation and satisfaction derived from occupational participation and/or improvement in occupational performance.

How do you know you or your loved one needs Occupational Therapy?

If you find that you or your loved one are having difficulty with the following, you may need support from an Occupational Therapist:

Medical conditions
  • Increased or decreased muscular tone
  • Muscle weakness
  • Non-use of limbs due to condition
  • Mobilising (crawling, walking)
  • Activities of daily living (bathing, toileting, eating, dressing)
  • Hand control and movements
  • Posture and seating
Learning Difficulties
  • Concentration and distractibility
  • Impulse control
  • Self-esteem
  • Planning and organisation skills
  • Problem solving
  • Approaching, executing and completing tasks
  • Visual perceptual skills
  • Sensory processing
  • Postural and shoulder stability
  • Midline crossing
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Fine and gross motor planning and skills
  • Pencil grip and control
  • Hand strength

Kelisha Naidoo works with clients with various conditions such as:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Learning difficulties
  • Work related injuries-especially to the upper extremity
  • Strokes
  • Arthritis