Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An OT's Perspective - Dana of Embrace Your Chaos

In honor of OT Month, I am switching gears a bit with my Parent's Perspective series. Rather than sharing a parent's perspective on therapy and life with a child with a disability, I am going to bring you an OT's perspective each Wednesday this month.

Today I'd like to welcome Dana, of Embrace Your Chaos.
Dana has been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist for 7 years.  She began blogging last year, with her focus being on simple ways to foster developmental skills every day. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two year old daughter and recently welcomed a baby boy into the world!  

My life as an occupational therapist in five words:

Never a Dull, Boring Moment  

Four qualities every pediatric OT should have:

Creative, Patient, Imaginative, Flexible

Three resources I can’t live without:

  • My co-workers who are always there to help me problem-solve
  • My heavy work lists for teachers and parents to help them understand how to provide their kids with the just right sensory input
  • My copy of Erna Blanche’s sensory integration observation cheat sheet for evaluations. 

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

Ask Questions! Even if they seem silly, ask anyway. This will help you and your child get the most out of their treatment. And that’s what we are here for- to be a resource for you and your child.      

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

If you love helping others then do it! OT is such a great field to get into because there are so many choices.  Between the hospitals, schools, community centers, skilled nursing facilities, and pediatric clinics, there are so many places to find your niche. When thinking about OT, be sure to check out all these options because you never know which one you may fall in love with!  

One dream for the field of occupational therapy:

To become a bigger part of preventative care and education for children and adults alike.  

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

I don’t know that I ever rest or relax – ha ha- but I do find my balance by making sure I get enough quality family time. We try to get out as a family and do something outside every weekend. Our favorite thing to do is go up to the mountains and hike! I also find that my blogging helps to keep me balanced. It’s great for keeping up my creativity and fostering my love for helping others!

A glimpse into Dana's chaos. Her daughter's room after turning her back for 5 minutes!

Dana, thanks so much for taking time out of your chaos to share your perspective with us!
For more of Dana's simple tips on child development, be sure to check out her blog, Embrace Your Chaos. You can also follow Dana on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!  

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