What Conditions do Occupational Therapy Treat?


    Hello, this is Doctor Olivia let’s discuss what are different types of disorder (Mentally) or conditions every occupational therapist (OT) does treat.

    In this article, I only discussing (TOP DISORDER), so for more information about particular types of disorder, you can comment on us and get details about a particular one. Different types of the specialized occupational therapist (OT) treated the different patient with a different mental disorder.

    Occupational therapy works with about any developmental, emotional, mental or physical ailment. First, Occupational therapy (OT) is an extremely extensive field. It may deal with a large number of disorders and it is difficult to name them all. The reason being developmental, emotional and physical problems, together they make a very vast network of ailments.

    What Conditions do Occupational Therapy Treat

    7 Common Mentally Disorder Treated By OT

    Occupational Therapy may help to treat patients with injuries ranging from post-stroke trauma to children with Down syndrome. Besides these therapist works also with nurse anesthetic, pediatric, geriatric, neurological and another physical therapist (PT) for diagnosing and treat different kinds of patients. Following are some briefly explained conditions that Occupational Therapists deal with:

    1- Autism

    Autism is a developmental spectrum disorder. It includes difficulty with communication, social interaction and compulsive behaviors. Even though autism symptoms usually start appearing in the children from the age of 2, these symptoms intensify as the children grow up. Occupational Therapists (OT) help these children and tame their compulsive nature.

    See: Occupational Therapy for Autism

    Over-time, with constant exercises, emotional support, and extensive care, these children develop neural pathways. This treatment helps and reduces their autistic nature.

    Occupational Therapy for Autism

    2- Stroke/Heart Attack Survivors

    Some patients who survive a stroke and cardiovascular diseases lose the capacity to focus. In addition, they are unable to maintain balance and continue their regular life activities due to loss of partial functionality of the body.

    See: Occupational therapy for Stroke

    The job of an occupational therapist is to help these individuals. They help them re-develop their cognitive abilities through extensive exercises. In fact, the aim here is to help these individuals become as independent as humanly possible.

    Occupational Therapy Treatments Stroke

    3- Hypoesthesia/Sensory Processing Disorder

    This disorder is notably important when it comes to needing professional help. People who suffer from this type of disorder might not feel sensations in some part of their body. For this reason, therapists help these patients carefully perform tasks that might cause them any harm.

    For example, for a patient with an insensitive skin disorder: A therapist teaches him/her how to carefully place utensils in a microwave oven. An occupational therapist (OT) may also provide and teach the patient to use any required equipment for this purpose. Parallel to these issues, therapists also need to be extra careful with such patients because they are highly vulnerable to accidental physical harm.


    4- Schizophrenia

    It is a mental disorder. People who experience this may have to deal with disorganized speech, distorted thoughts, and withdrawal from reality leading to mental fragmentation. Major symptoms of schizophrenia start appearing in patients at the age of 19-21 years.

    Opposite to another type of disorders that Occupational Therapists treat, this one is notably extremely difficult. The patients are adult who is not only mentally affected but can also head towards violence in extreme cases.

    Therapists who deal with such patients have to be extremely empathetic. They connect with these patients on an emotional level to enable them to become a better part of society.


    5- Down-Syndrome

    Opposite to schizophrenia, this is a genetic disorder with some degree of developmental delay. The patients who experience this may suffer from poor muscle growth, small feet, hands, and short fingers. This affects the strength, endurance and decreased coordination for motor activities in such patients.


    Occupational therapy helps promote appropriate sensory-motor and cognitive activities. They help them develop social skills, self-help skills, language, and motor skills that encourage them towards the highest level of function. Therapy may include but it is not limited to:

      1. Mental and physical exercises
      2. Visual stimulating toys
      3. Cognitive development

    Variety of type of Down-syndrome from childbirth to geriatric age.

    6- Eating Disorders/Anorexia

    Eating disorders, such as anorexia, stops people from taking part in leisure activities. Anorexia is a disease that causes low body weight. People who suffer from it may experience no desire to eat anything at all.

    On the contrary, disorders such as eating excessively or exercising too much may also cause a person to disconnect from society. It may stop him/her from going out and having a good time with friends.

    Occupational therapy helps such patients re-establish a more balanced life.

    7- Neuromuscular Conditions

    Neuromuscular problems in people mean people having mental/physical problems or both. This may include auto-immune disorder, Parkinson’ disease and more.

    See: Mental Health Occupational Therapy

    Some of these patients live in hospitals/special-facilities for most of their life. Occupational Therapists have full-time jobs at these facilities. The patients suffering from neuromuscular diseases may require full-time care. MOHO model is using for treating mentally ill patients.


    In conclusion, Occupational Therapy (OT) covers diseases from autism to accidental injuries. Occupational Therapists help to treat problems ranging from genetic disorders to work-related upper extremity injuries.

    The aim of an Occupational Therapist (OT) is to improve a patient’s quality of life. Help him/her resume regular life activities to thrive independently.


    What does an Occupational Therapist do? (LiveScience)

    Stroke Data (NCBI)


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