It is that time of year when occupational therapists and OT students return home to spend time with their families for the holidays.
As we know occupational therapy is an ongoing process, so the OT and OTA will always be churning up interesting ideas for treatment approaches that can be holiday oriented. Here is a list of five reasons why everyone should spend the holidays with an OT. A few of these can even be used as examples to explain profession with a holiday twist.
Master the Skills Needed to Wrap Gifts
Occupational therapists learn how to address the occupations of children in the school setting including proper use of scissors. We also address visual spatial and cognition skills across the lifespan. This directly positions the OT in your family to have the best-wrapped gifts this season! If you try to slip a poorly wrapped gift passed an OT during the holidays, be prepared to have your sequencing skills assessed.
Cooking and Baking
While it isn’t a prerequisite to getting into graduate school, most occupational therapists know how to cook and bake! This is an important role to play during the holidays. Both cooking and baking involve a variety of skills including coordination to roll out pie crust, dexterity to decorate gingerbread cookies, and sequencing the directions of a recipe so the eggnog comes out just right. OTs will always bake with a meaning and purpose and support sensory strategies for the entire family through smells of the kitchen.
Playing in the Snow
Do you ever feel like Randy from the Christmas Story when your snowsuit doesn’t quite fit? Dressing one’s self is the bread and butter of occupational therapy. Spending the holidays with an OT will help you, your little or your senior members in the family don and doff those difficult gloves and boots that protect us from the snowy elements.
Families and Groups
OTs learn about facilitating group dynamics in various settings. We have great skills and are able to understand the difficulties of family situations, even in those tough to deal with family dynamics. This holiday season, be sure to invite an occupational therapist to your home to quickly resolve those challenging family quarrels before they get out of hand.
Helping and Giving to Others
‘Tis the season to help those less fortunate than ourselves. OTs have dedicated their careers to helping those across the lifespan of all disabilities return to their favorite activities. Surround yourself with an occupational therapist to truly understand what it means to serve others and give back to the community! And remember, giving the gift of "pro-bono" work to the community may help the needs of those less fortunate who are unable to receive services.