Occupational Therapy Essay

700 words - 3 pages

Chiusolo 1Cassie ChiusoloDennis DunkinEnglish 12115 September 2014Occupational TherapyFour million children and adolescents in the United States suffer from a serious mental disorder that causes significant functional impairments at home, at school and with peers. 21% of children from age nine to seventeen have a mental or addictive disorder that causes at least minimal impairment. But, only 20% of children with mental disorders are provided with mental health services ("Facts on Children's Mental Health in America"). One specific and effective type of mental health service is occupational therapy.Occupational therapists help people of all ages to do the things that they want and the things that are necessary through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Areas of occupational therapy include helping children with disabilities to fully participate in school and social situations, helping people recover from injury, and helping older individuals going through physical or cognitive changes ("What Is Occupational Therapy?"). Specifically, in terms of mental health in children and youth, occupational therapy services focus on enhancing participation in the performance of activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, education, work, leisure, play, and social participation ("Occupational Therapy's Role with Autism"). Occupational therapy's impact on mental illness continues to become more and more effective, especially in the spectrum of autism.Autism is described as a group of complex disorders of brain development, characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Autism can also be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination, and attention and physical health issues. Although, people diagnosed with autism tend to excel in areas such a visual skills, music, math, and art ("What Is Autism?"). Occupational therapy uses a combination of strategies to improve the lives of children with autism at home and in school. Some of these strategies include physical activities like doing puzzles to help a child develop coordination and body awareness, play activities to help with interaction and communication, and developmental activities like brushing teeth and combing hair. Throughout sessions of therapy, a child with...

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