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Occupational Therapy’s Distinct Value in Children & Youth

Occupational therapy’s distinct value is to improve health and quality of life through facilitating participation and engagement in occupations, the meaningful, necessary, and familiar activities of everyday life. Occupational therapy is client-centered, achieves positive outcomes, and is cost-effective.

The Children & Youth Distinct Value resources offer a key tool to promote the essential services of the pediatric occupational therapy practitioner across a range of ages, contexts, and environments. The documents highlight the evidence-based practices that comprise our roles and responsibilities and can help promote our value in addressing both mental and physical health.

The resources target two different audiences: (1) administrators and policy makers; and (2) occupational therapy practitioners. The administrator and policy makers’ document includes evidence about OT’s role in promoting participation in numerous daily routines and in all areas of occupation, and it includes testimonials from multiple partners such as families, principals, and educators to reflect our valuable contributions. The practitioner document offers talking points within key topic areas to demonstrate value during collaborations within interprofessional teams. These topics include increasing inclusion, improving transitions, and enhancing growth and development.  

Both documents could be shared during an IEP meeting, when conducting a PTO in-service, and when meeting with an administrator to recommend additional staffing. The resources may also help to launch dialogue in a discussion group or in a classroom.