What does Occupational Therapy involve?

Occupational Therapists are interested in the reasons why an individual does/does not participate in occupation. There can be many barriers to this including lack of motivation, limited structure and routine, poor self efficacy, physical/cognitive/communication difficulties alongside the impact of the environment. Occupational Therapists deliver personalised assessments and interventions that focus on individual needs. We recognise the importance of engagement in a balanced range of activities in everyday life in order to maintain physical and mental wellbeing. We offer support in various environments dependent on the person’s needs (e.g. home, community, in hospital). Occupational Therapy can often work to outline the need for support, or work with the support in place to promote participation where required.

What can Occupational Therapy do for you?

Everyone has occupations, or activities, that they do every day. Sometimes for individuals with a Learning Disability, these activities can be challenging and can impact on their function and independent living ability. Individuals with a Learning Disability can find it harder than others to do the things that they need, and want, to do such as:


These are the tasks that people need to do every day to keep themselves healthy, safe, clean and feeling good. These include activities such as showering, grooming, cooking meals, shopping, travelling, maintaining the house, garden and taking care of pets. For more information on how to support activities of daily living click here. For more information and examples of visual aids that can support self-care activities please see the Resources page.


It is important to include leisure time in our daily routines. Spending time doing meaningful hobbies and activities can be beneficial for mental and physical health. For more information on meaningful leisure activities click here.


Many individuals with a Learning Disability go onto further education or work following the transition from school. This can be a difficult time for a person to adapt to an unfamiliar environment and occupation. 


Structure and routine enables people to anticipate what is happening, provides a shape to the day and an organised framework for support. A Learning Disability can affect a person’s ability to understand or remember the information they need to create and maintain their own personal structure. For more information on creating a routine for people with a Learning Disability click here

Sensory Processing

When we receive sensory information, our brain sorts this, makes sense of it and then if needed, acts on it – this is called sensory processing. If an individual has a problem with sensory processing, they can find daily tasks difficult. It may result in the person having a disproportionate response to sensory information, such as screaming when they hear a noise or saying that someone touching their arm lightly was painful. For more information on how to support an individual with sensory processing difficulties click here.


Sometimes leaving school can be difficult. Occupational Therapists can support this transition by identifying the individual’s skills, interests and aspirations in order to advise on suitable opportunities.


Occupational Therapists can work with individuals with a Learning Disability and their support network to identify strategies in order to promote continued engagement in occupation. For more information on how to support an individual with a Learning Disability and Dementia click here.


Occupational Therapist's within the Adult Learning Disability Service may be able to advise, assess and organise equipment to aid independence relating to physical difficulties if the individual is open to our service. If your referral is solely for adaptation of property and assessment of equipment, please contact our Occupational Therapy colleagues within Fife council on 03451 555555 ext 493748.

For more information on strategies and advice regarding supporting an adult with a Learning Disability, please visit our Resources page.

How to Contact Us

We are a team of Occupational Therapists providing support to the adult Learning Disability population across Fife based at Lynebank Hospital. See the referrals and location details info.