Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An OT's Perspective - Christie of Mama OT

OT Month is coming to an end, but I've got one more OT today stopping by to share her perspective.

Please welcome Christie of Mama OT! Christie is Mama to one precious kiddo (21 months old, plus one on the way this summer) and an occupational therapist to many. She has experience working in early intervention, clinic-based, and school-based settings, and she is passionate about educating and empowering those who work with kids. Her blog, Mama OT, is a place where she shares helpful tidbits learned from life both as a mom and a pediatric OT. 


My life as an occupational therapist in five words:

fun, creative, busy, challenging, educational

Four qualities every pediatric OT should have:

  • creativity
    His mama is definitely an OT!
  • empathy
  • the ability to "think on your feet"

Three resources I can’t live without:

  1. My OT colleagues
  2. The ZONES of Regulation book
  3. Pinterest 

Two words (or more!) of advice for the parents of a child who recently started receiving occupational therapy:

Be involved! Your ideal level of involvement will vary depending on your child's needs (and will even depend on the day). But don't feel like you have to be a by-stander in your child's therapy, and don't be afraid to ask questions about what the OT is doing. We LOVE it when parents want to know more about what we are doing and how you can carry it over into the home setting. Oftentimes, the kiddos who make the most progress are those whose families do their best to implement therapy ideas in the home and community settings. You can follow Kid Blogger Network on Pinterest for TONS of great sensory, fine motor, and gross motor play ideas.

A word of advice for someone who is considering a career in occupational therapy:

Be sure to observe or volunteer in one or more OT settings before you go to OT school, even if your program doesn't require it for admission. It's one thing to read about what OT is like on a website. It's often a completely different (and more exciting) thing to see what it looks like in real life. It may open your eyes to see that pediatrics isn't what you thought and isn't your gig. Or it may ignite your passion for working with families and kiddos and make you feel like your career as a pediatric OT can't start soon enough (that's what happened to me)!

One dream for the field of occupational therapy:

My dream is that more pediatric OTs could help educate and empower their communities (parents, teachers, coaches, doctors, psychologists, legislators, and beyond) in order to better serve the needs of children with and without special needs.

What I do to rest and relax. Or in OT terms, how I maintain occupational balance:

Crocheting. Blogging. Journaling. Being involved with my church. Trying new recipes. Going on weekly date nights with my awesome husband. Keeping up with my toddler son, who can practically outrun me by now. Following UCLA sports, especially gymnastics (Go Bruins!). Staying updated with my favorite shows such as Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, and Grey's Anatomy. And finding new toys and activities I can use with all the special kiddos in my life.
Even OT's have less than perfect pencil grasps :)

Christie, thanks so much for stopping by to share your perspective! Readers, please be sure to check out Mama OT for more of Christie's helpful tips. Follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for more tips on how to promote your child's development and help them have fun along the way!

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