In Occupational Therapy, the term occupation refers to anything that occupies one’s time in daily life. A child or adolescent’s occupations may include play, activities of daily living (ADLs), social participation, work, education, leisure, and rest and sleep.
Occupational Therapy practitioners recognize occupation as a means and an end. In other words, Occupational Therapists are skilled in using occupation-based treatment activities to work toward client goals and they also consider meaningful occupations in which clients wish to participate to guide treatment planning.
Pediatric Occupational Therapy focuses on developing and enhancing functional daily living skills of children and adolescents in order to reach their highest level of independence in meaningful environments. This is accomplished through facilitation of therapeutic activities that are meaningful to the individual and meet one’s unique needs and potential. Occupational therapists can help children and adolescents achieve or regain a higher level of independence in occupations that are meaningful to them and their families. When skill and strength cannot be increased physically, Occupational Therapy offers creative solutions and resources for carrying out daily activities using individualized equipment and task modifications.
Occupational Therapy treatment sessions often include preparatory warm up, purposeful tasks, and occupation-based activities as part of skilled treatment. Activities are skillfully facilitated by the therapist to address skill deficits, improve confidence, increase independence, and support functional outcomes.