Meet Abigail, Occupational Therapist

Published: 22 June 2022 to 31 December 2098

This Learning Disability Week, we have spoken to some of our Occupational Therapists, who support people with learning disabilities.

Abigail, Occupational Therapist (OT) within the Trust, said:

As an OT giving input onto a medium secure learning disability ward, we cover a wide range of interventions. All interventions look to build up a variety of transferrable skills for each service user.

Some of the interventions include:

  • 1:1 sessions – these session can consist of variety of interventions, from building a therapeutic relationship, through completing activities to developing what the service user sees as their future self. These sessions are tailored to the individuals needs and will help to set what they see their goals to be. As an OT, I can then help them to develop a plan on how it can be possible to achieve the goals they have set.
  • Individual cooking sessions – these are adapted to the skill level of each service user. We offer the sessions to be service user led, as well as teaching sessions. Before starting the session, we will discuss what the service user wants to gain from the session and how best they learn and access information. We can design easy read recipes for them as well as help them to create their own recipe book which they are then able to take with them.
  • Community leave – one of the main areas we work with service users is in the community. This is to allow them chance to develop their interests as well as look at what opportunities there are within the local community. Service users will work with OT staff to develop their own plans and what they see as the goals they would like to work towards. Whilst out on the leave it gives the opportunity for a variety of community assessments to take place which can then be fed back the MDT and service user to continue to set goals.
  • Ward activities – the ward has a weekly activity planner where session will normally be completed by ward staff as well as a dedicated activity co-ordinator. These sessions consist of both group and 1:1 sessions. The newest timetable includes activities such as shopping group, community walking group, shared breakfast and tea, bingo and relaxation group.

As an OT, I also attend the weekly MDT meetings that take place. We give relevant feedback and look to help progress service users along their pathway. There is also the opportunity to work alongside other disciplines within the service to give the best opportunities to access therapy and occupations.

A recent example of this would be the joining work between Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and OT, to hold a sensory exploration afternoon for the ward. Within in the afternoon we tasted different food and looked at the texture of them as well as smell a variety of different herbs and mints. The group also utilised the wards bubble tubes to complete some relaxation exercises and hand massages. Finishing the afternoon off with a sensory led yoga session.

This event gained lots of positive feedback from both the service users and staff it has led to the therapy department looking into these events being a more regular occurrence on the ward.  

To support Learning Disability Awareness Week 2022, between the therapy department and the wider MDT and ward staff members, we have developed the following timetable to take place:

Monday 20th

Tuesday 21st

Wednesday 22nd

Thursday 23rd

Friday 24th

Creative Day

Sensory Day

Creative Day

Baking and Modelling

Exhibition Day



Community Meeting and Group discussion regarding the week’s activities in the communal lounge. Tea and biscuits to accompany.




Our Stories.

Support patients to write a creative story that explores ideas surrounding overcoming adversity and future dreams. This could be fiction or non-fiction.








Sensory activities to include:


10:30 - Sensory Movement and Exercise



1:30 - Sensory Food


2:30 - Sensory Games


3:30 - Sensory Yoga





10:00 – 12:00  Using ‘Our stories’, support patients to create a mural art-work that reflects their stories.






Afternoon is MDT



10:00 -12:00 Healthy baking, no bake cupcakes, tray bakes. Baking that contains healthy elements… Courgette, Carrot, Beetroot.


Share lunch – pitta pizzas and smoothies




2:00 - 4:00 Clay modelling session - creating a piece of art that reflects our differences



10:00-12:00 Using creative elements from this week and patient’s photographs, artwork, poetry to create an exhibition.


( Location TBC )




Gardening activity. Planting herbs, flowers in the courtyard to create a small ‘sensory garden’.

We hope that all the above information has helped everyone understand the intricacies on working as an Occupational Therapist and to see the rewarding work and support they offer.

Make sure to follow our social media accounts to see content throughout the week in support of Learning Disability Week 2022. Your support doesn’t need to end when the week does, contact us if you’d like to learn more on how you can help more going forward.







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