occupational therapy for teens and adults

The Difference Between Occupational Therapy For Adults & Kids:

Why We Work With Teens

One topic that many people have asked us to talk about is why we work with teenagers and young adults. We have quite a few young adult and teenaged clients. There are several reasons we do this, but the main one is that we are passionate about making sure every group has an opportunity to go through their rehab or remediation process, whatever that may be. We don’t want any age group or any disability to feel that they don’t have an opportunity to improve. 

As therapists, we are trained to work through the life span and to adapt what we do through the life span. It’s very important to us that we provide these services.

How Adult Therapy Differs From Pediatric Therapy

Sometimes people wonder how therapy is different from little children to teens. What’s the difference in therapy between a three-year-old and a teenager? A lot! A three-year-old talks in a completely different way than a teenager. But besides that, it has to do with their roles. As occupational therapists, we work on what is called their occupation, or their roles. The role of a three-year-old is entirely different than the role of a 15-year-old or a 25-year-old. They may have similar issues, but we adapt our therapy for these issues to the role in their lives. 

A three-year-old may be just working on attention and focus and being able to sit for a few minutes and do an activity. But we may have a 15-year old that has an attention and focus issue also, and that might affect their homework and projects and the things they do in school. So we’re going to work directly on planning and organizing that activity so that they can handle their school projects.

The problem in a 25-year-old may present itself in a work project or an interview, or those types of activities. So we adapt what the problem is direct to the part of the life span the person is in. 

How We Work With Teens

With teenagers, the things we work on include planning and organization, handwriting and keyboarding skills, strategies for handling anxiety, interviewing skills, job readiness skills. Some of our clients are doing pre-vocational skills here in our office like filing or answering phones or taking things out to people—those things that you might do working in an office. 

We adapt everything for the role of the client. We wouldn’t ask a three-year-old to file our forms, even though the three-year-old might also be working on some skill they have to do themselves, like learning to put their shoes on. The therapy all depends on your role in life!

It’s not at all difficult for us to adapt therapy to the client’s role in life. We can address any issue throughout the life span. It’s a very exciting way of looking at things! We hope you have the opportunity to come see our team work with the young adults and teenagers! 


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