What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?
“The OT discipline is very broad. We work across the whole lifespan; from birth, until as old as you may get in life.
The word ‘occupation’ often confuses people, because we associate ‘occupation’ with a paid job. But OT’s are looking at occupations in the context of things that you ‘occupy’ yourself with.
For example, we may see a child who needs to be able to write at school, and is having difficulty doing that. An OT would look at that occupation (writing) and ask why that child is having difficulty writing, and how we can help.
A person in their 30’s may have a mental health condition that’s stopping them from getting out and doing their grocery shopping. An OT would find ways to help the person overcome obstacles to be able to function and thrive in their own environment.
Later in life, we might have clients who have dementia and struggle with things like showering and cooking. An OT might visit them in their home and look at how they can help this person do these tasks independently.
In essence, OT’s help people to do the things they want to do by overcoming whatever challenges are in their way.”