Occupational Therapy

Life-altering conditions such as a stroke, spinal cord injury, or the loss of a limb can have a significant impact on a person's ability to perform simple daily tasks. At NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation, occupational therapists create a treatment program that helps you regain your independence.

Our occupational therapists are trained as experts in their program areas and have advanced certifications in their specialties, when appropriate and available. We help you perform daily tasks—such as dressing and bathing—successfully manage your home, prepare to return to work, and participate fully in leisure and community activities.

Occupational Therapy for Children

Pediatric occupational therapists understand how orthopedic and neurological conditions affect a child’s fine-motor skills, vision, sensory knowledge, and ability to process ideas and communicate effectively. Rusk Rehabilitation pediatric occupational therapists provide services for children at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone.

Occupational Therapy for Adults

We provide inpatient and outpatient specialized care to adults adjusting to life after an illness or accident that has caused a disability. Physician referrals are required for all of the programs listed below. For more information on occupational therapy at Rusk Rehabilitation, please call 212-263-6010.

Inpatient Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy might start while you are still being cared for in the hospital. We have specialized programs for people with brain injuries and strokes as well as other neurological, cardiac, orthopedic, and medically complex conditions. These include the following:

  • acute care occupational therapy programs that focus on your ability to perform everyday tasks and your overall mobility after surgery
  • the total shoulder replacement program, which helps people perform everyday tasks, including an at-home exercise program, and improve range of motion
  • the same-day discharge program, which includes an occupational therapy session on the day of preadmission testing for patients and their coaches. Techniques to be used at home following surgery are taught by an occupational therapist, who also sees patients following surgery as well as prior to discharge

Inpatient and Outpatient Services

The following services are available to patients receiving care while in the hospital and those coming to Rusk Rehabilitation for therapy appointments:

  • functional upper extremity training for people with weakness on one side of the body as a result of a stroke or another neurological condition (a physician’s referral is required)
  • electrical stimulation and Bioness H200 to improve movement in the arms (a physician’s referral is required)
  • seating and mobility or wheelchair services to help people who require lifelong use of a wheelchair to live independently, participate in the workforce and recreation activities, and manage their healthcare needs
  • assistive technology to improve your independence and quality of life, including devices to facilitate home automation, adaptive computer hardware and software, and use of the telephone and other forms of communication (an assistive technology physician’s referral is required)
  • vision rehabilitation therapies after a stroke or other cerebrovascular accident, brain injury, concussion, or other neurologic incident that utilize biometrics as well as iPads, Vision Coach, AceReader, and Track and Read, which is part of the Computer Aided Vision Therapy software package (a visual rehabilitation physician’s referral is required)

Driver Rehabilitation Program

The driver rehabilitation program provides a pre-driving evaluation to assess your vision, cognition, perceptual skills, physical status, and use of a driving simulator. Following the successful completion of the clinical evaluation, you are referred to a local driving school for an on-the-road evaluation. We can also make recommendations for equipment to adapt your car to your physical needs and alternatives to driving, if needed.

In this outpatient program, we can only work with people who have been seen by a Rusk Rehabilitation physiatrist. Please call 212-263-6037 to make an appointment with a doctor. People interested in participating must have a valid driver’s license or permit.

Barrier-free Design

Our barrier-free design outpatient service addresses the challenges presented by everyday living situations. This may include climbing staircases, getting in and out of the bathtub, and accessibility issues for someone using a wheelchair. An occupational therapist with expertise in rehabilitation and functional design recommends ways to make your home safer and easier to navigate. Ideas can include guidelines for construction and advice on how to obtain specialized equipment or products.

A barrier-free design physician’s referral is required for this program.