In the field of allied health, there are many different acronyms floating around, so it can be difficult to keep them all straight. If you are a seasoned occupational therapist (OT), you are likely very familiar with AOTA, the American Occupational Therapy Association. If you are new to the field or are a parent of a child in pediatric occupational therapy, you are probably less familiar with AOTA. So what exactly is the AOTA, and what does it do?
What is AOTA?
The AOTA was established in 1917. The organization was founded as a way to advance the field of occupational therapy and advocate for occupational therapists. The goal of AOTA also includes improving services provided by OTs, which is beneficial for both patients and families. AOTA has members who are at all levels of their occupational therapy practice, ranging from students who are studying to become occupational therapists to fully certified occupational therapists. As the field is rapidly growing, there are more than 60,000 members in AOTA. While there are 60,000 members in the organization, there are more than 200,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students who are represented by AOTA.
How can AOTA help families and patients?
AOTA focuses on improving occupational therapy services provided to patients and families. This ensures that OTs are receiving the education and training required to provide exceptional therapy. The organization also focuses on continuing education for therapists, so that OTs are continuing to develop their professional therapeutic skills. In addition to this goal, AOTA works to make sure patients and families are able to access occupational therapy services by looking at factors such as health insurance.
AOTA also provides extensive resources for occupational therapists (both practicing and aspiring), as well as families and patients. For parents of young children, AOTA provides resources on autism, early intervention, sensory integration, and many more. If children are just beginning occupational therapy, it can be helpful for parents and caregivers to learn from these resources.
What else does AOTA work on?
Some of the other areas in which AOTA focuses include policies that affect the field, careers in the field, the educational component of OT, professional conferences for OTs, and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (as well as other publications).
If you would like to learn more about the field of pediatric occupational therapy, the AOTA may be able to provide some excellent resources, particularly if your child is just beginning OT.
Do you have questions about pediatric occupational therapy?
Contact Chicago Occupational Therapy or call (773) 980-0300 to learn more about our services for children, including applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.