As defined by American Occupational Therapy Association
“The therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase development and prevent disability. It may include adaptation of task or environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life.”
OTs are Team Players with:
- Patient & their Family
- Physical therapists
- Speech therapists
- Case managers
- Social Workers
Occupational Therapists often specialize in physical medicine, pediatrics or mental health. Pediatric Occupational therapists work in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, home health, clinics, private offices and community programs.
The American Occupational Therapy Association, AOTA, has an excellent website on Occupational Therapy.
Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy: Comparison of Focus
Physical and Occupational therapists often work side by side and there may be overlap in the therapies provided. The table below shows typical focus areas by discipline as a general guideline.
- Upper extremity
- Fine motor skills
- Functional activities
- Independence goals
- Adaptive equipment for selfcare
- Hand splints
- Holistic: body, mind & spirit
- Gross motor skills
- Exercises & modalities
- Strength & range of motion goals
- Mobility & Transfers
- Foot orthotics
- Medical Specialties, eg sports injuries, orthopedics, neurology, etc.
Where to Find an OT for Your Child
Occupational Therapist’s serve children in both medical and educational settings, where the roles differ slightly. Unsure of the differences? Click here.
Read about our therapy services.