Occupational Therapists work with people with intellectual disabilities of all ages and levels of abilities. OT aims to maximise the person’s opportunities and independence in the areas of self-care, leisure/play and work/school; enhance the person’s safety, quality of life and that of his/her carer(s) and maximise the person’s inclusion in society and in their local community.
The Occupational Therapy process includes referral, assessment, intervention and review. Following assessment, intervention may be direct (individual or group sessions), or indirect (consultation, recommendations, training).
When working with a person with intellectual disability the occupational therapist considers the interaction between the person, the environment and the activity and the impact this has on their well-being and quality of life. Consideration is given to the following:
• 24 Hour Postural Management, e.g. specialised equipment, such as wheelchair, activity chair and splints
• Environmental Adaptations, e.g. modification of home/school/work environments
• Motor Skills, e.g. gross and fine motor skills
• Sensory Processing, e.g. organising and interpreting sensory information
• Cognitive and Perceptual Skills, e.g. planning, organising and problem solving in everyday life
• Manual Handling Advice
• Psychosocial Skills, e.g. social skills, self-advocacy, coping skills