JOIN

About Occupational Therapy

What Is Occupational Therapy?

An OT working with a child.

Occupational therapy practitioners ask, "What matters to you?" not, "What's the matter with you?"

In its simplest terms, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants help people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, 
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

Occupational therapy services may include comprehensive evaluations of the client’s home and other environments (e.g., workplace, school), recommendations for adaptive equipment and training in its use, and guidance and education for family members and caregivers. Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. 

This brochure describing occupational therapy can be downloaded and distributed for educational purposes only. For other uses, please contact copyright@aota.org. It may also be purchased in packs of 25. Note: For best results, select double sided (duplex) printing from the print dialog box seen when entering a print command AND choose "Flip Short Side" option, not "Long Side," in order to have it print correctly.


Celebrate the Centennial!

Go to www.OTcentennial.org