Programs that evaluate the task performance skills of individuals who may be having difficulty engaging in self-care, work, play or leisure time activities and help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Occupational therapy services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the individual/family and occupational therapist agree on the person's goals; customized intervention to improve the person's ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals; and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met. Common occupational therapy interventions 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.
Programs that evaluate joint motion, muscle strength and endurance, heart and lung function and the ability of people to perform activities of daily living; and utilize the therapeutic properties of exercise, heat, cold, electricity, ultraviolet, water, manipulation and massage to improve circulation, strengthen muscles, reduce pain and restore mobility to people who have been disabled by a stroke, arthritis, back or spinal cord injuries or other debilitating conditions. Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings including hospitals, private offices, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centres, developmental centres, home health agencies, schools and pediatric centres.
Programs that provide opportunities for individuals with any of a wide range of disabilities and others (e.g., victims of assault or abuse, people who have recently suffered a tragic loss, incarcerated offenders, at risk youth) to relate to, handle, groom and ride horses as a part of an experiential habilitation or therapy program in which the horse serves as a co-facilitator or co-therapist. Equestrian therapy provides an experience with horses that fosters growth, communication skills, self-esteem, self-awareness, healing and personal transformation. Clients learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then discussing feelings, behaviours and patterns. Therapy goals for different populations may differ, e.g., treatment for children with autism may focus on behaviour modification and improvement.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.