April 13, 2017
Today, one of the most important tools any occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant should have at their disposal is an iPad or another tablet. With the prevalence of apps made specifically for healthcare professionals providing therapy to patients, it makes sense that a handheld device is one of the first things out of your OT toolbox.
Best Apps for Occupational Therapy
- Dexteria – One of the most popular OT apps on the market, Dexteria is designed to help OT patients improve their fine motor skills and prepare for handwriting. Within the app are functionality modes to promote finger isolation, develop pincer grasp, and develop advanced finger movements for letter tracing. Dexteria is available for iOS and Android tablets.
- Ready to Print – This app was designed by Occupational Therapists and is perfect for toddlers and younger patients from 2 to 7 years of age. Designed to enhance handwriting readiness, the app features a variety of games, activities, and interactive skill building functionality. Ready to Print is available for iOS and Android devices.
- Brainworks – This customizable app, available on iTunes, is designed to allow a child to take a sensory break from their current setting by selecting appropriate activities. Therapists, teachers or parents can select the length of the break and select the available activities to choose from. Brainworks is effective for children with sensory processing disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and other challenges that may benefit from variable sensory strategies.
- First Then Visual Schedule – This daily living app allows you to create a visual schedule of daily events and provides positive behavior support towards completing the activities. The schedule can include daily routines, therapy schedules, toileting, etc. and is completely customizable for each user’s individual needs. Very useful for ASD, communication disorders, individuals who benefit from structure and helps others achieve greater independence. Available for iOS and Android.
- Labyrinth – A great game for young and old alike, Labyrinth is a classic game where the user controls a steel ball by tilting a wooden labyrinth. There are up to twenty levels available for free and additional levels available for purchase. Offered on iOS and Android, the game teaches fine motor skills and spatial reasoning.
- LetterSchool – An award winning application that OT’s around the country have turned to for helping their patients learn and re-learn to write. From tracing letters to phonics and memorization, this app should be in every OT’s toolbox. Available in iOS and Android.
- Cut the Buttons – A unique fine motor skills training application that is entertaining for gamers of all ages. Ranked in the top 5 of apps in 82 countries around the globe, Cut the Buttons is available for Apple and Android devices.
- Fruit Ninja – What originally seems to be a silly, visually splashy game for children turns out to be a great app for OT’s to use with their patients. Players will enhance their dexterity skills and physical stamina as they destroy the various fruits that are flying toward them. The game is bright and colorful, and players of any age will benefit from the action as they are engrossed in the entertainment. Available for Android and Apple.
These are just a handful of great apps for Occupational Therapists to use for a variety of patient needs and on both major platforms. In the comment section below, please share with us what OT-centric apps you use in your practice. Or leave us your favorite app ideas on our Facebook page.
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