Everyone has something that throws off their ability to function – from the loud, ear-drum rattling sound of a siren to the anxiety-inducing feeling of a crowded room or elevator. Sensory issues can be especially difficult for children and can cause poor social interaction and decrease school performance. By being an occupational therapy assistant (OTA), you will have the training needed to help kids manage such obstacles by using a customized sensory diet.
What is a Sensory Diet?
In occupational therapy (OT) terminology, a sensory diet does not refer to food, but a specific set of activities and accommodations that allow individuals to function at their own highest level. A sensory diet is a highly personalized plan that provides the right level of sensory input someone needs to accomplish daily living activities.
Of course, a sensory diet is just one tool in your OTA education toolbox. During your OTA education, you’ll learn how to assess a client’s condition, create, or use adaptive technology, and adjust treatment plans to ensure progress.
As you advance through your OTA educational curriculum, you’ll gain the knowledge and abilities to carry out the programs for anyone at any age and at whatever level of sensory difficulty they are having.
Two Examples of a Sensory Diet
Becoming an OTA: It Makes a Lot of Sense
As you know, being an occupational therapy assistant involves taking a comprehensive view of what’s going on in someone’s life. Together with occupational therapists, OTAs are uniquely educated in addressing various aspects of health and wellness, plus treating developmental, emotional, physical, and sensory difficulties.
The diverse skills, combined with the knowledge gained from a two-year A.A.S in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree, make the decision to become an OTA a good one. First-year OTAs typically earn $45,000 or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Experienced Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTAs) have a median salary of $59,310.
How to Learn About Sensory Diets (And Much More)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university offering an accelerated A.A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program. CUKC is in Overland Park, Kan., a thriving suburb of the Kansas City metro.
The University presents its 8-week OTA courses year-round in a three-semester format. It’s the same amount of learning that takes place in a traditional college program; it just progresses much more quickly. CUKC students can complete the OTA degree in as little as two years.
Once you have your OTA degree and pass the national exam of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, you will be a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) and ready for 1 of the top 10 careers for health care support professionals.
Learn more about becoming an OTA and the OTA profession by downloading the free, detailed ebook: Your Complete Guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.