How Is Technology Used in the Real World of Occupational Therapy?

Much of an occupational therapists job is to identify roadblocks in a patient’s development and use any tools necessary to overcome those barriers.

Occupational therapy is the practice of assessing and treating various cognitive, mental, or physical disorders with the goal of enabling the patient to recover or develop the skills necessary for daily living. New technology used in occupational therapy has provided therapists with more tools that can greatly aid their patients.

Who Needs Occupational Therapy?

Anyone with impaired motor skills or trouble learning life skills will benefit from occupational therapy. Occupational therapy may be the type of therapy that your loved one needs. It will help prepare them with the skills they need to be successful in daily life.

Occupational therapists can even help prepare people for future employment roles thanks to technology used in occupational therapy. Depending on the patient, there are many different employment opportunities available.

What Technology Is Used in Occupational Therapy Today?

Patients with cognitive deficits have benefited greatly from new technological tools.

iPod, iPhone, iPad and Android products all have apps that are designed to help patients develop skills that they are lacking. Below are some examples of apps that were developed to increase a specific skill.

Apps for fine motor and spatial reasoning:

  • Dexteria. This app presents a set of hand exercises that will improve motor skills and develop the patient’s handwriting. Thanks to the multi-touch interface of modern devices, they can develop hand dexterity with this app.
  • iWriteWords. As the title suggests, this app helps teach children how to write. Along the way, it also improves fine motor skills. This tool is great for patients who need to develop hand dexterity.
  • Fruit Ninja. This popular game might even be on your smartphone. The purpose of the game is to slice fruit that appears moving across the screen. This can help develop spatial reasoning and hand dexterity.
  • Light Box. This app was created specifically for teens and children with autism, visual impairments or intellectual disabilities. This game provides abstract scenes and encourages various types of exploration. People with and without special needs have been known to enjoy Light Box.
  • Fluidity. Fluidity provides patients with an on screen lava lamp that can be manipulated by moving fingers around the screen. This enjoyable game can help children and those with learning disabilities develop an understanding of cause and effect.
  • Pocket Pond. Presented with onscreen fish and frogs, the patient is able to use their fingers to feed or scare the animals. They’ll also see the water ripple in response to their touch. This develops causation understanding in a fun environment.

Apps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real world technology in occupational therapy. There are many other products being developed, such as the virtual tabletop for children.

Contact Integrity, Inc. to learn more about occupational therapy for children with developmental disabilities at 501-406-0442. We would love to talk to you!

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