We often get asked ‘What is Occupational Therapy,’ especially when we are talking about it in reference to a child. As a result we thought we would publish a breakdown based on the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework to help give people a better understanding.
Activities of Daily Living: Activities that are oriented toward taking care of one’s own body. These activities are, “fundamental to living in a social world; they enable basic survival and well being.” They include:
- Bathing/Showering: obtaining/using supplies, maintaining positioning, transferring to and from bathing position
- Bowel/Bladder Management & Toilet Hygiene: intentional control, obtaining/using supplies, clothing management, transferring on/off the toilet
- Dressing: selecting appropriate clothing, obtaining clothing from a storage area, dressing/undressing in a sequential pattern
- Eating: the ability to keep and manipulate food or fluid in the mouth/swallow
- Feeding: the process of setting up, arranging and bringing food/fluid to the mouth
- Functional Mobility: moving from one position in space to another during performance of everyday activities such as those listed in this post
- Personal Hygiene/Grooming: obtaining and using supplies to brush hair, groom nails, wash hands, clean mouth etc
Rest and Sleep: Including activities related to obtaining restorative rest and sleep that supports healthy active engagement in other areas of occupation.
- Rest: quiet and effortless actions that interrupt physical and mental activity including identifying need to relax to restore energy, calm and renew interest in engagement
- Sleep: a series of activities resulting in going to sleep, staying asleep
- Sleep preparation: engaging in routines that prepare the self for comfortable rest including grooming, reading, setting an alarm etc.
Education: Includes activities needed for learning and participating in the environment.
- Formal educational participation: including categories of academic classes, nonacademic (e.g. recess), extracurricular (e.g. sports)
- Informal personal education participation: participating in classes, programs, and activities that provide instruction/training in identified areas of interest
Play: A spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement or diversion.
- Play Exploration: identifying appropriate play activities, which can include exploration play, practice play, pretend play, games with rules, constructive play and symbolic play
- Play Participation: participating in play maintaining a balance of play with other areas of occupation; and obtaining using and maintaining toys, equipment, and supplies appropriately
Social Participation: Organized patterns of behavior that are characteristic and expected of an individual or given position within a social system.
- Community: engaging in activities that result in successful interaction at the community level (i.e. neighborhood, organization, work, school)
- Family: engaging in successful interactions in specific required and/or desired family roles
- Peer, Friend: engaging at different levels of intimacy
Reference: Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain & Process 2nd Edition. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. Novemeber/December 2008, 62:6, pg. 631-633.