What is OT?

What is Occupational Therapy?

Many people think the word “occupation” is a work-related term; however, an occupation can be anything someone does to occupy his or her time in every day life. Groups of activities constitute an occupation. For example, work, leisure/play, and self-care are general occupations. Within each of these are components of one or more activities. Self-care includes many activities of daily living such as brushing your teeth, bathing, eating, and dressing. Leisure/play can involve reading, writing, teaching, or typing. Activities are the building blocks or components of human occupation.

Occupational therapy is a health profession concerned with improving a person’s occupational performance. In a pediatric setting, the occupational therapist deals with children whose occupations are usually players, preschoolers, or students – A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Sensory Integration, 1986

Occupational therapists use a knowledge base of neurology, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, child development, psychology, psychosocial development, activity analysis, and therapeutic techniques. They are trained to treat clients holistically, addressing their cognitive, emotional, and physical needs through functional, activity-based treatment. When working in pediatrics, occupational therapists select activities that are of interest and have meaning for children, and that also meet therapeutic goals – The Alert Program for Self Regulation, How Does Your Engine Run?, 1992

Possible Reasons for Referral to OT are Difficulties with one or more of the following:

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Visual Motor Skills
Visual Perceptual Skills
Postural Control
Daily Living / Self-help Skills
General Gross Motor Skills
In-hand Manipulation / Fine Motor Skills
Psychosocial Skills
Attention / Arrousal
Play Skills
Sensory Processing and/or Modulation
Feeding Difficulties