During the month of April, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) celebrates Occupational Therapy Month and the more than 213,000 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 challenges 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 clients who are 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 older adults’ homes 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 a nearly 100-year-old evidence-based profession deeply rooted in science. Practice areas are Children and Youth; Mental Health; Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation; Healthy Living; Aging; and Work and Industry.
Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 213,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting professional and educational standards, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to www.aota.org.