Author: Diane Stewart, Enable Outreach Specialist

Enable Alabama is pleased to recognize Occupational Therapy Month this April. For those who may be unfamiliar, occupational therapy (OT) is a form of treatment intended to help individuals maximize their independence by improving, recovering, developing, and maintaining the skills needed for daily living. Those in the OT field work alongside individuals of all ages, from children to the elderly, who require assistance stemming from a variety of factors including illness, injury, psychological problems or developmental delays. Are you or a loved one considering treatment through OT? We’ve got you covered with answers to many common questions about the process:

How does it work? Your occupational therapist will provide an evaluation to help identify your personal goals. You will then begin treatment to learn about maximizing skills to address your personal challenges. During the process your therapist will evaluate the efficiency of the plan to ensure your goals are being met and will make adjustments as necessary. 

How does this differ from physical therapy? Physical therapy focuses mainly on treating injuries, whereas OT focuses on improving functioning abilities. In many cases your OT will come to your house or place of work for treatment to see how to equip you with strategies for managing your everyday life.

What are payment options for treatment? In most cases OT is considered a qualified disability expense, meaning you can use your Enable AL Savings Plan to help cover the costs associated with treatment.  

What can OT help with?

  • Exercising to increase strength, flexibility, posture and joint motion
  • Skills in the home, such as gardening, cooking and cleaning
  • Personal care activities, like dressing, eating and bathing
  • Balancing a checkbook and keeping a schedule
  • Practicing skills imperative to driving a car or motor vehicle, like reaction time, judgment and attention
  • Guidance and support for caregivers and loved ones
  • And more

Occupational therapy is a field that aims to improve the lives of those with disabilities and empowers them with the skills they need to reach new levels of independence. It is for that reason we observe Occupational Therapy Month and thank those who work tirelessly toward the goal of helping others.

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