What is OT?

Occupational therapy (a.k.a. OT) is a holistic profession that helps people across the lifespan participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, also known as “occupations”.*  We use these occupations as both the intervention and outcome of therapy. Hence the name “occupational therapy”.

When it comes to pediatrics, this means we OTs are really good at providing intervention by engaging kids in their primary childhood occupation — PLAY! But pediatric occupational therapists don’t “just” play. We provide individualized therapeutic intervention to help kids improve their performance in occupations such as eating, sleeping, self-care, and learning by addressing underlying difficulties like fine motor, problem solving, attention, and sensory processing skills (to name a few). We also take into account the effect of a task’s difficulty on the child’s performance, as well as the role of the physical and social environment.

We are creative, scientific, and evidence-based. We are masters of modification and expert task analyzers. We love what we do and are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of children, their families, and their communities.

Can you tell I love being an OT?!

It is my hope that, as you continue the journey with Mama OT, you will gain even more insight into the incredibly powerful — and fun! — field of occupational therapy.

Check out this video for a simple yet powerful depiction of the role occupational therapists play in helping people be able to say, “I can!” no matter what their disability or struggle.

*Description adapted from website for the American Occupational Therapy Association.

9 thoughts on “What is OT?

  1. I have a Bachelor’s in Human Communication Studies. Currently, I’m a technical writer and editor who does occasional training seminars…

    But this is my dream job. :) I just hope I can get into a Master’s program someday…

    Love your blog!

    • Thanks for reading! One of OT’s strengths is its diversity. So many different kinds of people who thrive in this field. Feel free to email me at mamaotblog[at]gmail[dot]com if you want to talk more about how to get involved in the field.

  2. Pingback: Messy play with homemade puffy paint | Mama OT

  3. What a great definition. I am a student in an OTA program and even after 2 quarters defining OT people is so difficult unless they have seen or experienced it. I love OT and am so happy that I am on my way to being a practitioner next year.

  4. Pingback: Parenting Dilemmas | walking by faith

  5. I am a COTA/L and I love my job working with kids in the schools. It is rewarding and keeps me young at heart. When teaching handwriting I love using gross motor movements to teach letters increase memory often combining writing on a wall with a lg. paint brush, chalk etc. love the cards. I have made these similar for years adding points to the cards and when written correctly the child e
    Prints the #on the wall we tally our points adding math concepts greater/ less etc. the kids love all the movements and playing the game to out do the Ot.

  6. I accidently found this blog and love it! As a new grandmother after 19 years, I was searching info about the bumbo chair! After reading this blog….I am not going to buy it! I don’t want to prevent any developmental stages with my sweet grand daughter. Thanks!!!

  7. Nice article – I work as a Home Health OT and help children to seniors. Occupational Therapy Jobs are the most rewarding. I have been an OT for 8 years and everyday is a new day to make someone happy. Just found this site today! Good Job!

  8. I’m a Marriage Family Therapist and love doing therapy with young children. I’ve worked as a private school therapist and worked with children, parents and families who have had their children removed due to abuse and neglect (hoping to teach parenting and coping skills and a strong commitment to substance abuse recovery so that their families can be reunited). As a new grandmother of 2 (and a 3rd on the way) I’m hoping to always learn more professionally and provide my grandchildren a rich childhood experience. Your website is awesome and I look forward to reading you’re articles. Thank You

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