© 2017 by Therapy In Motion, Inc.

Clinic-Based Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) is the use of assessment and treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive, behavioral, or emotional disorder. Occupational therapists also focus much of their work on identifying and eliminating environmental barriers to independence and participation in daily activities. Occupational therapy is a client-centered practice that places emphasis on the progress towards the client's goals. OT interventions focus on adapting the environment, modifying the task, teaching skills, and educating the client/family in order to increase participation in and performance of daily activities, particularly those that are meaningful to the client. Occupational therapists often work closely with professionals in physical therapy, speech therapy, nursing, social work, and the community.

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The term "occupational therapy" can often be confusing. It carries the misconception that the profession’s focus is on vocational counseling and job training. The word occupation as defined in Webster’s Dictionary is "an activity in which one engages." Occupational therapists promote skill development and independence in all daily activities. For an adult, this may mean looking at the areas of self-care, home-making, leisure, and work. The "occupations" of childhood may include academics, playing in the park with friends, washing hands, going to the bathroom, cutting with scissors, drawing, etc.