Occupational Therapy Week 2019

It’s OT Week so we caught up with Sharon Tuppeny at The Children’s Trust to tell us more.

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An OT cooking with a young person
  “The most rewarding thing about being an Occupational Therapist is addressing the barriers that prevent children being able to join in with every day activities and seeing them participate in the things that others take for granted.”  Sharon Tuppeny, Head of Therapy Rehabilitation and an occupational therapist, at The Children’s Trust, has given an insight into the role of OT for Occupational Therapy Week 2019. Running from 4–10 November 2019, this year’s theme is: Small Change, Big Impact – changes that may seem small, but have a powerful impact. The national awareness week is run by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) to promote the value of occupational therapists (OTs) and the fantastic work that they do across the UK. Sharon explained how occupational therapists can help children regain skills and independence after brain injury and support all children and young people with a neuro disability participate in everyday life. Some examples of how occupational therapy may help include learning strategies to dress themselves, support to relearn how to record their work in school or to regain continence skills and use the toilet rather than pads. Children with any level disability can be supported by occupational therapists to participate in everyday life in a range of ways including the use of assistive technology. Sharon continued: “Occupational Therapists help children young people and their families achieve the things that they need to do, want to do and are expected to do.” The week celebrates the impact occupational therapists have on the lives of those who face challenges managing daily activities. Sharon, like many others, thinks that for many the perception remains that occupational therapy is about helping older people manage at home. She said: “The role with children and young people being helped to achieve their goals and aspirations is less publicised.” The awareness week therefore does a great job in helping to change perceptions. With this year’s message that ‘every day, occupational therapists work with people to make changes – big and small – which improve their lives’, the RCOT is running a Story Wall. Approximately 300 OTs to date have shared their stories on this wall with the categories ‘The challenge’, ‘The change’ and ‘The impact’. Great reading – check it out!
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