Imagine if you had an accident, injury, disease, or condition that made it difficult for you to participate in your daily activities. A wrist injury means that getting dressed in the morning is painful. Arthritis makes driving challenging. Autism may hinder a child from interacting effectively with classmates. Occupational therapy allows people across the lifespan to do the activities they want and need to do. An occupational therapist will evaluate your situation and, with input from you (and perhaps your family, care provider, or friend), develop individualized goals that allow you to resume or pursue your valued occupations.
Occupational therapists are licensed healthcare professionals who help patients improve their ability to perform tasks in living and working environments. They work with individuals who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition. Occupational therapists help patients develop, recover, or maintain their daily living and work skills. The therapist helps people not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The goal is to help people have independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
Source: MedlinePlus and American Occupational Therapy Association
Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.
- American Occupational Therapy Association
- This site includes information about who might use the services of an occupational therapist and how therapy works.
- Occupational Therapy Association of Colorado
- This site includes basic information on occupational therapy as well as information for professionals in the field.