Occupational therapy can help people with dystonia with practical everyday tasks, enabling them to live as independently as possible - at home, in employment or in education.
Support provided can include:
- Identifying ways problematic everyday tasks can be done differently, including recommending alterations or adaptations in the home, school or workplace environment.
- Advice on disability equipment and other aids.
- Assessing the needs of patients who may qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of adapting their home.
- Referral to other services - for example, speech and language therapy, or employment-related advice centres.
The occupational therapist may make recommendations for specialist equipment. It is important not to choose equipment without being properly assessed as it can result in the equipment not helping or causing more problems than it solves. This is particularly the case with mobility aids and wheelchairs if the user has postural problems. The equipment may seem comfortable at first but it may encourage fixed postures and muscle tightening.
The NHS may not cover top-of-the-range bespoke equipment but it should fit the need. Where appropriate, children in particular should be given the option of a motorised chair that they can control themselves to help maintain fine motor skills and increase their sense of independence. In certain situations a voucher may be issued (the NHS contribution) towards the equipment which can be topped up with other funds to pay for higher specification equipment. It may also be possible to apply for financial support towards the cost from charitable funds.
Last reviewed January 2014
The Dystonia Society provides the information on this page as general information only. It is not intended to provide instruction and you should not rely on this information to determine diagnosis, prognosis or a course of treatment. It should not be used in place of a professional consultation with a doctor.
The Dystonia Society is not responsible for the consequences of your decisions resulting from the use of this information, including, but not limited to, your choosing to seek or not to seek professional medical care, or from choosing or not choosing specific treatment based on the information. You should not disregard the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider because of any information you receive from us. If you have any health care questions, please consult the relevant medical practitioner.