Occupational therapy practitioners help people across the lifespan live life to its fullest
During the month of April, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) celebrates Occupational Therapy Month and the more than 185,000 occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and students who work nationwide to create fuller lives for clients and their families.
Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability.
These are just some of the interventions and services that occupational therapy practitioners can provide:
Helping children with mental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder and physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy to participate fully in school and social situations
Keeping older drivers safe and independent in their vehicles by providing in-car assessments, recommendations for adaptive equipment, and appropriate self-restrictions
Offering a client who is recovering from a stroke ways to resume independence in bathing, dressing, and cooking a meal
Helping people recovering from injury to regain skills necessary to return to work
Providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes
Evaluating an older adult’s home to promote safety and prevent falls
Helping Wounded Warriors overcome physical injuries such as limb loss, and mental challenges such as TBI and PTSD, and reintegrate into the community
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. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. Practice areas are Children and Youth, Mental Health, Disability and Rehabilitation, Healthy Living, Aging, and Work.