As fellow occupational therapists know, not many people know exactly what occupational therapy is and what we do. However, this week AOTA posted an interesting question, "Do the best OT definitions comes from clients?". They posted an article to AOTA members detailing how the founder of Jiffy Lube, Jim Hindman, described occupational therapy after working with an OT to address his macular degeneration. Jim says that, "occupational therapists greatest contribution is the hope they provide that one can continue with activities of daily living more independently. Occupational therapy practitioners are "make it happen" type of people, encompassing not just medical knowledge but also the skills of a psychologist, motivator, coach, and cheerleader". He goes on to say that, "teaching a person to rejoin the world is like giving someone their life back". At the AOTA National Conference this year, they encouraged practitioners to share powerful client stories. One occupational therapist shared that her 4-year-old daughter describes occupational therapists as people who, "help people help themselves". Client stories can clearly illustrate the power of our profession. Hopefully next time someone asks you what occupational therapy is, you'll have a great answer.
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