Glen Stafford Cotton, O.T.D., OTR/L, HPCS

Assistant Professor
Downers Grove, IL

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Dr. Cotton received a Master of Science degree in occupational therapy and Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His clinical experience includes providing occupational therapy to children and adults in outpatient settings. His pediatric experience includes treating children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental delay, and neurological conditions. His adult practice has included working with clients with neurological conditions such as acquired brain injury and spinal cord injury. In addition, Dr. Cotton is a certified hippotherapy clinical specialist, who currently uses equine movement and the equine environment as an intervention strategy for clients.

Dr. Cotton is committed to the advancement of equine-assisted therapy (EAT) research. He is currently conducting multiple research projects examining the therapeutic benefits of EAT for children with ASD and he has presented on the topic of equine-assisted occupational therapy at professional conferences. Dr. Cotton is a member of the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA, Inc.) and is the volunteer occupational therapy consultant to the AHA, Inc. Board Practice & Standards Committee.

A native of Kentucky, Cotton has a lifelong love of horses. He devotes much of his free time riding and caring for his Thoroughbred horse and honing his jumping skills. In addition, he enjoys traveling, hiking, photography, and gardening.

Assistant Professor

Downers Grove, IL

College of Health Sciences - IL

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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University of Illinois at Chicago | 2012 | O.T.D.
University of Illinois at Chicago | 2011 | M.S.
Northwestern University | 1989 | M.S.

Courses Taught

OTHED 1550 Therapeutic Communication

OTHED 1547 OT Process: Adults

OTHED 1744 Cognition and Executive Function

OTHED 1746 Neurorehabiliation


Therapeutic benefits of equine-assisted OT for children with autism spectrum disorder

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder typically experience a variety of challenges that interfere with occupational participation. Research evidence supports a strong link between sensory processing impairments and this population. These impairments can have a negative effect on occupational participation and engagement. Occupational therapy incorporating horses or ponies (hippotherapy) provides a unique, holistic sensory experience. The focus of my current research is to examine the sensory integration benefits of hippotherapy and to determine if these benefits improve occupational participation outside of the therapy session -- at home, in the community, and at school.

Rebuilding occupational identity and competence after trauma

Our lives consist of one learning experience after another. These experiences influence how our brain develops, what we do, how we do it and with whom. We develop a positive occupational identity and achieve occupational competence. This is called occupational adaptation (Kielhofner, 2008). Over the course of a lifetime, many adults experience life-changing emotional and/or physical trauma. This can affect their participation in productive occupations, community living, social interaction and relationships. As a result, occupational identity and competence are disrupted. The focus of my research is to better understand the experience of adults with occupational identity disruption, their journey to achieve occupational adaptation, and the interventions and strategies that help them to increase participation and improve their quality of life.


American Hippotherapy Association (AHA, Inc.), Member, Board Standards and Practice Committee member

 American Occupational Therapy Association, Member                                    

Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, Member

Society for the Study of Occupation-USA, Member