New School OT

Some professions are easier to understand than others. When someone says they’re a doctor, lawyer, or electrician, there’s no elevator speech to explain what they actually do. However, occupational therapist?? Yeah, insert your first impression guesses here.

In a nutshell, occupational therapists (OTs) help people live an independent, functional, and meaningful life in their environment. How we do that depends on the needs and values of the individual and family. Where it gets tricky is that purposeful activities vary from person to person.

Continue reading

Old School Skills/New School Tech

Growing up, it seemed like we had a lot to accomplish. It wasn’t just about manners or good grades, but mastering day-to-day skills by a certain age or we were doomed. Can you hear it now? “If you don’t learn this, you won’t make it as a grown up.”

In fairness, these skills were necessary to participate in daily activities at the time. We needed to know how to tie our shoes by the age of 5 or we ran the risk of tripping over ourselves. We had to know who to read an analog clock or we would miss the bus. 

Now, we have a good amount of tech that has replaced a lot of those hard line demands that we had as kids.

Continue reading

Handwriting Q&A

Handwriting is a complex skill. It requires our sensory and motor mechanics to work harmoniously together to make our writing remotely legible. And when we start working with our kids on how to write letters, numbers, and eventually words and sentences, we notice that their writing is never going to look like our own. That’s when we question what is “normal”?

From their pencil grasp to writing upside-down, we wonder if these strange tendencies are just a quirk of little kids or something to be really concerned about.

Continue reading

A Resilient State of Mind: Dealing with Failure

Part of a child’s job is to learn, and failure is an inevitable part of learning. Failure is also an inevitable part of building resilience. Resilience is the ability to face life’s stressors/challenges, learn from mistakes, and recover. It’s a big cause and effect game happening in your child’s brain.

Our kids fail all the time, especially when communicating what they want or need in the first years of life. As they get older and experiment with boundaries and connect information, they can organize all of that cause and effect and turn it into action. They figure out what works (asking for help) and what doesn’t (throwing a fit), learning and adapting with each new situation.

But somewhere in their early school years, our kids can start viewing failure as a bad thing, limiting their exposure to new experiences, encounters, and achievements. What caused this switch and how can we help our kids embrace failure rather than avoid it?

Continue reading