Welcome to part one of a six-part series of blogs that dive into the world of occupational therapy careers and those who work directly with individuals affected by various challenges: the occupational therapy assistant!
Of all the population segments occupational therapy practitioners serve, guess which of the following four population segments is the one most people forget to mention?
1. Injured or recovering workers
2. People recovering from heart attack, strokes, or surgery
3. Senior adults living with age-related conditions
4. Children and youth.
If you did choose #4, congratulations! Perhaps you know someone already in an occupational therapy career or became an occupational therapy assistant (OTA). Maybe you’ve heard about two-year OTA programs.
Blog Series Part 1: Children and Youth
For those who like to have the big picture of an occupational therapy career, you can get a quick view of all six occupational therapy practice areas here. Of course, all six areas are important, but a good starting point for occupational therapy’s impact is to know how younger children, youth and their families benefit from their expertise.
Occupational therapy can help with restricted or delayed advancement, and that’s where the skills and knowledge of occupational therapists (OTs) and occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) can offer help and hope.
OTAs in Schools
Another area you’ll find OTAs working with younger populations is in preschool, elementary, middle, and high school. OTAs teach ways to achieve successful learning, encourage appropriate behavior, and find adaptive methods for participation in activities and routines.
OTAs in Injury Situations
In assisting with a child’s injury recovery, OTAs might find themselves inventing play-like activities that are also increasing strength or improving coordination.
OTA program graduates know how to introduce adaptive skills or equipment for improvement in cognitive function or to complete daily tasks by themselves. OTAs also develop helpful strategies for any emotional or sensory processing problems that may have resulted from the injury.
OTAs: Up to Any Challenge
An occupational therapy career covers a range of challenges kids and youth face, so OTs and OTAs have the training to understand conditions across the emotional-behavioral spectrum. Examples of strategies with children and youth might include overcoming challenges with coping skills, countering frustration with calming tactics, and creating step-by-step instructions that make daily activities easier to manage.
To learn more about how occupational therapy practitioners work with children and youth, go here.
The 2-Year Occupational Therapy Assistant Degree at CUKC
You can become an OTA at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), a nonprofit, private, health-care focused university located in Overland Park. Our history of chiropractic and health sciences education goes back nearly 100 years.
The two-year Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Occupational Therapy Assistant degree program at CUKC reflects the standards for classroom instruction and fieldwork experiences of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Our OTA program includes 16 core courses and provides as extensive an exposure to practice areas as possible during the fieldwork experiences.
Features of the CUKC program:
You can learn more about an occupational therapy assistant career and the details of an OTA program today. Download a new ebook in the CUKC health information series, Your Complete guide to an Occupational Therapy Assistant Career.