In Occupational Therapy,
'Occupations' refer to the everyday activities that people do as individuals, in families and with communities to occupy time and bring meaning and purpose to life. These include the things people need to, want to, and are expected to do.
Childhood occupations include activities that enable them to learn and develop life skills, be creative and derive enjoyment, and thrive in their roles as play partner, student, and family member.
Some examples include:
play, movement and sensory exploration, developing and pursuing areas of interest;
participating in daily routines such as taking care of oneself, getting ready in the morning, and completing chores or household duties;
developing and mastering the skills involved with being a student such as sustaining attention, visual processing and fine motor abilities for academic tasks, listening, etc;
developing self-regulation and emotional growth to cope with challenging moments, tolerate disappointment, manage relationships, etc.
When challenges or disability affect an individual's participation in key occupations,
OT's can help to assess and analyze limiting factors, support skill acquisition and development, adapt or modify activities, materials, and environmental conditions to better support engagement and success, and collaborate with a child's parents, teachers, and support system to enable carry-over and progress across settings.
OT's are able to address physical, cognitive, sensory, social, and emotional aspects of development to support meaningful, functional outcomes and improved quality of life.