More about Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists (OT) engage children/youth in meaningful activities (occupations) in order to promote physical and mental health. Specifically, OTs focus on the following performance areas:

  • Education/school work (e.g. attending in class, handwriting, managing classroom materials)
  • Play and leisure (e.g. playing during recess; after-school leisure participation)
  • Social participation (e.g. making friends, getting along with others)
  • Activities of daily living (ADLs; e.g., eating, dressing, hygiene)
  • Instrumental ADLs (e.g., preparing meals, shopping, managing money)
  • Sleep and rest
  • Work (e.g. pre-work activities such as helping clean up after activities)

Occupational therapists are skilled in analyzing the interaction between the student’s ability to successfully participate in an everyday task (e.g. play and social interaction during recess, eating lunch, participation in an after-school club) and how to modify the activity and/or environment in order to promote successful participation. In addition to having a sound knowledge of the physical and sensory requirements of a task, occupational therapists are skilled in addressing the social and emotional aspects of participation. All occupational therapists have pre-professional education in the areas of psychopathology (e.g. can recognize symptoms associated with depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions), developing and running activity-based groups, and the use of play and leisure activities to promote positive behavior and the development of interests that support physical and mental health. These foundation skills make occupational therapists ideal candidates for being change leaders for Every Moment Counts.