8 Holiday Gifts for that Special OT in Your Life

Books for and by occupational therapists

8 Gifts for Occupational Therapists. GettyImages

That wonderful OT in your life is kind, generous, passionate about his or her work and very hardworking. When it comes to the holidays, the perfect holiday gift is not only a nice pick-me-up, but also gives a little professional boost.

For this list, I’m going to focus on rejuvenating your favorite OT’s bookshelf. It is easy for an OT’s book collection to feel lackluster. So often an OT’s books primarily include textbooks that date back to 10 years ago when they started occupational therapy school.

My OT shelf has recently moved from the dusty bottom corner of our bookshelf to a cardboard box in my closet.

But, over the past years, more and more OTs have gotten involved in the world of publishing, whether through big-time publishers or simply by self-publishing.

For this list, I tried to pick books, primarily written by fellow OTs, that are meant for the general public—not the world of academia. The books are easy to digest, full of inspiration, and hopefully some nuggets of new knowledge.


This is probably the best seller on the list and is a staple read for anyone interested in sensory integration issues. If you are looking for someone who works in pediatrics or an OT who is headed into parenthood, this could be an interesting read. Bonus: the foreword is by Temple Grandin!

2.) Tough as They Come

This is the only book on the list not written by an OT. The author, Travis Mills, was a featured speaker at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference in 2014.

People are still talking on my Twitter feed about the impact he made. This is a great book for any OT, who works with veterans and/or amputees.


This could be a fun addition to the bookshelf of an OT/parent! The book is a collection of activities that use soap, water, and/or bubbles. The book is broken into these sections: Arts, Crafts, and DIY Projects, Learning Activities and Games, and Sensory Play.

The book has contributions from an OT, teachers/former teachers & kids activities bloggers. 


Great for an OT who works with young children ages 4-7. Check out my recent interview with the author, Lauren Brunker, to learn more about this particular book.


An early childhood educator, physical therapists, and occupational therapists wrote this book. It would be a great addition to a toolkit of a therapist who works with kids who have sensory processing disorder.


Is that special OT in your life expecting or a new parent? This book contains a pediatric OT’s ideas for how to enjoy time with your newborn (while also fostering healthy development!) You can read my review of the book here.


Looking for a gift for a parent of a toddler or school age kid(s)? OTs will appreciate the creativity and thoroughness of this book. The book was made through a collaboration of the popular kid blogger network—several of whom are OTs themselves!


This one is a little on the nerdy side, but I’ve heard great things.

This line alone from the description makes me intrigued to read the narrative; “Restoring the Spirit is also the compelling story of the rise of working women and their crucial contributions to the history of health care.” I also received a pro-tip on Twitter that Amelia Earhart makes a celebrity appearance in OT’s history on page 172. I’m sold.

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