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What is an Occupational Therapist? These and more OT questions answered for you!

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In honor of Occupational Therapy Month this October, we asked Springboard Clinic’s very own Occupational Therapist (OT), Meghan Badun, to answer some questions for us.

Springboard Clinic (SBC):What is an occupational therapist?

Meghan Badun (MB): What a very good question! An occupational therapist, or OT, is someone who helps you do the things you need and want to do, whether that’s getting ready in the morning, going to work or school, or doing something for fun. An OT thinks of an “occupation” as anything that occupies your time. So, if something gets in the way of you being able to complete an activity to the best of your ability, then an OT can help!

SBC:How could an OT help someone with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

MB: Many of the activities we do throughout the day require the same part of the brain that is affected in someone with ADHD. Things like:

                • Organization
                • Meal planning
                • Budgeting
                • Setting up a morning or evening routine (task sequencing)
                • Deciding what to do first from a long list of to-dos (task prioritization)
                • Starting a big school or work project (task breakdown)
                • Finishing a big school or work project
                • Blocking out distractions

An OT could help you with each and every one of these things. That being said, so could your Springboard Clinic ADHD coach who is specifically trained to work with and support clients with ADHD.

SBC: So, what makes an OT different from an ADHD coach?

MB: An OT can also help you with your motor skills! Many people with ADHD also have difficulty with some type of motor skill whether it’s fine motor (handwriting, scissoring, tying your shoes), gross motor (running, throwing/catching), or sensory motor (fidgeting, craving/avoiding things like tight hugs or loud noises). If you would like to improve how you perform these activities, an OT can help you set goals and develop these skills.

OTs like to teach and learn by doing, which means your sessions with your OT won’t just be sitting around and doing worksheets. You might practice your crab walk, colour some pictures while lying down, make a plan on how to shoot a basketball and then practice, take movement breaks, play card games, and much more. An OT can help you develop “skills for the job of living” and live life to the fullest!

SBC: Any closing words?

MB: Happy OT month!

Have you worked with an OT in the past? How did it help?

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