April is Occupational Therapy Month
I always smile when I am reminded that April is OT month. I have been an occupational therapist since August of 2003, so almost 2 decades now! I am still just as much in love with the profession choice as I was almost 20 years ago. I continue to feel challenged daily, but I am also deeply rewarded from the ability to help others in such a special way. If I were to turn back time and do this all over again, I would choose to be an OT every single time!
What is occupational therapy? I do not have to explain my profession quite as much as I did in 2003, but education is still key around what we specially do. Do we help people find jobs (my husband thought this when we first met)? Well, no. But we do help people engage meaningfully and functionally in their occupations of daily life. We are the experts in helping a person participate in the occupations they want to do each day. From eating their favorite food to playing their favorite sport.
For me, since I work with kids, it is helping kids play. How fun is this? Amazingly fun! How rewarding is this? Completely! The American Occupational therapy association (AOTA) will define OT as “a science-driven, evidence-based profession that enables people of all ages to participate in daily living or live better with injury, illness, or disability.”
We always look at the whole person, the whole situation and focus our goals on what matters the most to that person and their family. So, we are truly helping people live a better, easier and happier life. It does not get much better than this! For me, it is helping a baby or a child develop as functionally as they can through play. I help babies learn to crawl to their parent, to sit up so they can play with a toy, pick up a cheerio and feed themselves, chew their food better so they can eat a variety of foods and even hold a crayon so they can eventually draw a picture to hang on the fridge.
The other amazing thing about the field of occupational therapy are the vast settings we can work in to help people. From early intervention in the home, to a clinic at the hospital, to a warm therapeutic pool, to on top of a horse and the list goes on. The possibilities are endless and the avenues to help people are infinite.
Come back for more specific posts on what OT’s do and on various tips around develop that will be posted. In the meantime, please spread the word on what an OT does if you find a friend or loved one that may benefit from this goal-driven and occupation centered therapy. Cheers!