What is OT?

Occupational Therapists or OTs look at what children do in their everyday life, considering the child's role in their family, their community, and their educational environment. OTs help children to develop skills necessary to complete activities that they want or need to do within the areas of self-care, work/productivity, and play/leisure.


Self-care: everyday activities, children do (or parents do for their children) to look after themselves like eating, dressing and toileting.


Work/Productivity: Work for a child includes Kindergarten or School skills, including writing, drawing, using scissors and glue, organising themselves and their materials within the classroom, and following steps to an activity. 


Play/Leisure: Includes learning how to play with toys or other children, taking turns in small and large groups, following rules of structured games, and pretend play. 


For pre-school aged children this may look like;

  • Learning to manipulate and play with toys
  • Learning to follow Kindergarten routines
  • Learning to toilet independently
  • Learning to open food packaging and eat independently with a knife and fork
  • Learning social skills such as taking turns with friends


For school-aged children this may look like;

  • Learning social skills (playing cooperatively and learning the rules of structured games)
  • Self-care skills (packing their school bag, toileting independently or tying their shoe laces)
  • Fine-motor skills (handwriting or using scissors)
  • Gross-motor skills (using playground equipment)

Click below to download our parent handout detailing the role of OT, family centred practice, and SMART goal setting with your Occupational Therapist. 

What is Occupational Therapy?.pdf
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