Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing a space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.

{Haft Abiola}

Occupation for Young People: Think Less 'Work', More Play


Occupational therapy (OT) is the practice of using meaningful activities to help people achieve functional ability in everyday life tasks. The term 'occupation' is used because occupational therapists work to help patients’, clients’ and/or students’ health by addressing what occupies their time and the environments they frequent.

 

For children and youth, school, family engagement and play are their occupations and if they are having trouble in those areas, occupational therapists work to support their participation and functional skills using activities that they enjoy.

 

The use of the word occupation in the term 'occupational therapist' or 'occupational therapy' is unrelated to labor and work: we might address employment if that's related to what's filling someone's time, but ultimately the term is related to what's occupying daily lives. 

Our Philosophy


At our practice, we believe a person’s wellness, happiness and confidence depends on their ability participate and engage in the life activities they want or need to do. To us, living well is unrelated to having a disability, illness or delay and directly dependent on a person being able to do what is meaningful to or expected of them and feeling success from the participation and action. These beliefs guide our evaluations, interventions and services for children and young people and their families. Meaning, we want to know what our clients need, want or are expected to do in their daily routine and if they have success or difficulty with those activities in order to provide opportunities for development and growth in the areas that are difficult. The opposite of young and well isn't 'old' and unwell, either. We want our young people to be young and well so they can age well, too. 

 

Aging well. That's our goal. 

 

Practically this means giving children and young people the just right challenge to build necessary skills for cognitive, social, physical, emotional and sensory development and progress, but also the confidence to feel good about what they’re engaging in for healthy development and self-concept. It also means constant and clear communication with parents and guardians, caretakers, teachers and other adults engaged in the child or youth’s life to problem-solve strategies to support their ability to thrive where life takes them. In the evaluation process, we recognize that while standardized assessments can be useful in hypothesizing the reasons for difficulties in certain areas of occupational performance, other factors such as environment, attention, motor planning, understanding and following directions and task approaches impact occupational performance and participation and are important to evaluate in context.

History


Originally known as OT for Kids, Young & Well started in 2001 as a sole private occupational therapy office with Bonnie Eisenson, MS, OTR/L in Rockville, Maryland. In 2009 Bonnie relocated out of Maryland and transitioned the practice to Heather Jackson-Pena, OTD, MOT, OTR/L, ETS. Heather brought her existing home-based clients to OT for Kids, in addition to providing intervention to Bonnie’s previous clients. Heather maintained her public and private school contracts, as well as completing vocational and high school transition assessments through New View, her pre-existing private practice company.

 

As OT for Kids continued to grow and expand, Heather was mindful of the words “OT” and “Kids” being used to describe a company that served birth to young adult and offered more than just occupational therapy. In July of 2015, in sequence with a move to a new space, Heather renamed the company Young & Well to better fit our mission, include and recognize the age range we serve and services we offer.