OT for the Masses
Most of us have never even heard of occupational therapy (OT). If we have, it has probably been in the context of a disabled child, recuperating accident victim, or stroke patient. This is unfortunate, because the field has a lot to teach us about our normal selves, how and why we do what we do, and how to do it better.
The field of occupational therapy has long been aware of the link between sensory input, behavior, and neural functioning, thanks largely to the work of A. Jean Ayres. Dr. Ayres developed sensory integration theory to give us a better model of the relationship between behavior and brain function. She was particularly interested in the relationship among neural functioning, sensory-motor behavior, and early academic learning. We now know the interplay of sensory-motor behavior and neural functioning extends beyond childhood and affects us all our lives.