What is Occupational Therapy Support?

Occupational therapy is a client centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. Occupational therapists use the term occupation to describe all the things you do as a student, and have an understanding of how disability can possibly affect people’s ability to do the day-to-day things that are important for them. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable you to participate in the activities of everyday life as a student (Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland, 2017).  

You choose the areas that you would find most useful to work on with your OT, but to find out about some of the types of things that we commonly do with students, please visit our OT support page.



Trinity has the highest number of students with ASD studying here compared to any other college in Ireland. The occupational therapists within the Disability Service are skilled and trained in providing support to students with ASD and some examples may include:

  • Organisation: managing my time and my new routine
  • Managing the demands of coursework
  • Socialising and making friends
  • Managing group work
  • Presentations and discussions in tutorials and seminars
  • Living away from home and developing self-care skills, such as shopping, cooking etc.

In collaboration with students with ASD in Trinity we have developed a useful website with information on the transition, through and out of Trinity and you can find it along with useful resources at: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/services/AS-Support/index.php

How could this affect me?

“The OT sessions were so helpful, gave me new confidence and calm every single time and it helped me accomplish my tasks for college while feeling supported.”

Whether or not you received or felt you needed support during school or college, university life is very different from the type of study you have been used to and getting the right support in place can make your life a lot easier.

In your initial one to one meetings, we will go through the Electronic Trinity Student Profile (Nolan, 2011; 2014), which is an assessment that will allow you to identify specific areas of college life that you would like to work upon with your OT. This enables you and your OT to collaboratively decide on how to address areas using the approaches outlined in ‘What Can my OT help me with?’

You choose how you want meetings to work. You can either meet an OT over a short period to address a specific issue, or you can meet more regularly with your OT for on-going support in engaging in your student life. Within your meetings, we use the Person-Environment-Occupation Model (Law et al., 1996), to identify possible barriers to engaging in your day-to-day activities, and to identify ways to fully engage in your student role.

As appropriate the OT may recommend connecting with other college services, such as college health, student counselling or your college tutor.

What to do next?

Find out more about support for Autism in Trinity

Practical tips

Who would I be meeting?

You will be met initially by an OT listed below, but should you wish to change your OT, you can do so at any time. Please see the contacts page for more information about the OTs in the Disability Service.

Questions to think about

What activities does my course include?

What challenges do I anticipate in a college environment?

What kind of environments help me to work productively?

What support is available for managing social situations?

Am I clear about the content of my course, and what I will study across the four years of my course?

How can I manage study and part-time work?