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Occupational Therapy

Professionally reviewed by Jenna Sopp, MS, OTR/L, ITOT, Supervisor, Outpatient Neurorehabilitation, on 01/25/2022.


For individuals recovering from an illness or injury, performing everyday activities can be challenging. This includes everything from bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, meal preparation, toileting, basic home management and work activities.

Occupational therapists help individuals improve their basic motor skills, strength, dexterity, range of motion, mobility and more. By gradually improving these key skills, it can become easier to complete everyday tasks that can maximize safety, confidence and independence.


What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is an evidence-based practice rooted in science that helps people do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities, or occupations. Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to the fullest by helping them promote health and prevent — or live better with — injury, illness or disability. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. 

Common occupational therapy treatments include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations; helping people recovering from injury to regain skills; and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

occupational therapy

What Does Occupational Therapy Include?

Occupational therapy typically includes:

  • Individualized evaluation focused on your goals
  • Customized treatments to improve your ability to perform daily activities 
  • Evaluate to ensure goals are being met and make changes to the treatment plan, if appropriate
  • Comprehensive home site evaluations with adaptation recommendations as needed

Who Might Need Occupational Therapy?

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Birth injury or birth defect
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Developmental delay
  • Learning problem
  • Autism
  • Cognitive and visual dysfunction
  • Behavioral problem
  • Broken bones or other orthopedic injury
  • Post-surgical condition
  • Amputation
  • Hand injury
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic illness

Types of Occupational Therapy

Good Shepherd’s occupational therapists treat people of all ages and circumstances. Listed below are a few of the many types of occupational therapies offered at Good Shepherd.

Assistive Technology

Good Shepherd’s assistive technology specialists work with wheelchairs, seating products, and other assistive machinery to help patients with disabilities.

Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist

The Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist (CSRS) indicates advanced training in stroke rehabilitation. Our therapists strive to find the best methods of treatment and care for stroke survivors.

Driving and Community Mobility

Occupational therapists who earn a Specialty Certification in Driving and Community Mobility (SCDCM or CDCM-A) are skilled at evaluating a person’s ability and potential to drive, providing education and adaptations to support driving and providing comprehensive resources and training when driving is no longer safe and other forms of community mobility need to be explored.

Hand Therapy

A Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) works with patients who have conditions affecting the hands and upper extremities caused by trauma or disease.

Lymphedema Therapy

A Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) focuses on treating lymphedema patients safely and effectively using complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Our lymphedema specialists also provide manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, patient-specific exercises, and skin care.

Pediatric Feeding

Good Shepherd’s pediatric feeding therapists focus on patients who have sensory processing deficits associated with diagnoses such as sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder—or motor deficits associated with neurological diagnoses such as cerebral palsy or stroke—may have trouble with feeding, eating, and swallowing. 

Vision Therapy

Vision specialists in the occupational therapy field focus on visual impairment in children, vision processing deficits related to traumatic brain injury and eye diseases related to aging (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy).

Orthopedic vs. Neurological Occupational Therapy

Orthopedic and neurological disorders are disorders of two of the major systems in the body. The musculoskeletal, or muscle-and-bone structure of the body, keeps the body upright and allows it to move. The neurological, or nervous system, made up of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, coordinates the body’s movements and sends signals between different parts of the body.

Trouble in either of these systems, whether from birth or the result of injury or illness, can make it difficult to complete everyday activities. Good Shepherd has highly trained and experienced specialists in orthopedic and neurological occupational therapy, whether you need work on joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles for functional movement, or to build a healthy brain, spine and nerves to keep the body’s systems communicating, moving and working together.

Occupational Therapy Locations

Good Shepherd offers occupational therapy at more than ten locations throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with one of our occupational therapists, call 1-888-44-REHAB or filling out the form below.

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