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Occupational therapy (OT) helps people do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). OT practitioners help people of all ages to live life to its fullest by promoting health and preventing—or help live better with—injury, illness, or disability.

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

OT services typically include an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals, customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan.

OT practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. OT practitioners ask, “What matters to you?” not, “What’s the matter with you?”

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