According to the American Occupational Therapy Association executive board (1976) it is defined as “The therapeutic use of work, self-care, and play activities to increase development and prevent disability. It may include adaptation of task or environment to achieve maximum independence and to enhance the quality of life.”
The word “Occupation” refers to the way in which a person occupies their time. A person spends their time in many ways such as: self care, work and leisure. When any of these areas are affected and a person cannot perform them independently and function is compromised therapy is needed.
When we refer to a child’s “Occupation”, we are referring to “Play”. A child learns about life and language through play. If a child is not playing appropriately, they are not effectively learning through their senses from their environment. Often this learning will not occur because the child has a sensory integration dysfunction. When sensory integration does not happen naturally, occupational therapy will be recommended in a sensory gym.