What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
What is occupational therapy and what do occupational therapists do?
According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, Occupational therapy is a health and rehabilitation profession that helps people of all ages who need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive, and satisfying lives due to physical, developmental, social, or emotional problems. Occupational therapists use the “occupations” of self-care, work, and play/leisure activities to increase independence, enhance development, and/or prevent disability. To achieve these goals, occupational therapists may also adapt the task or the environment. For more information on occupational therapy visit the American Occupational Therapy Association web site.
Is occupational therapy the same as physical therapy?
No, they are not the same although they work hand in hand.
Think of the physical therapist (PT) as someone who helps people with problems related to posture and mobility (problems with strength, flexibility, balance, etc.).
The occupational therapist (OT) helps people of all ages (from newborns to older adults) who have an illness or disability to do those things that are important and meaningful to them such as eating, dressing, school activities, and work. The OT helps by making changes in any of the things that may limit an individual’s ability to do those tasks, including the environment, the task, or the person’s skills needed for the task. OTs also have the knowledge and training to work with people with a mental illness or emotional problem such as depression and/or stress.