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Occupational therapists making difference in Lawton

It can be a hard road to get to a new normal in life after a debilitating injury, surgery or illness, but occupational therapy can help immensely with that journey.

The name of the discipline is a bit deceiving though.

"They think we are going to give them a job," Tammy Palmer, an occupational therapist at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, Comanche County Memorial Hospital, said.

"Occupational" refers to "the things that occupy their time", such as taking care of themselves, being able to enjoy and engage in leisure activities or even return to work, she said.

"Depending on your stage of life, maybe you are getting back to work," Palmer said. "Maybe you are a child and your work is play."

The discipline, according to the American Occupational Therapy Association, celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.

It started as an offshoot of psychiatry, said Occupational Therapist and Certified Hand Specialist James Barber at the Center for Sports & Rehabilitation at Southwestern Medical Center.

The Lawton Constitution

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