Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Auntie, the OT

You've probably already figured out that Auntie lives with my family. She moved in with us about 7 months ago, and we love having her around!
Over the last few weeks, Auntie's professional knowledge has come in quite handy. Auntie is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist...and no, that doesn't mean she helps kids figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

It means she helps kids with developmental delays, Autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injuries, sensory integration dysfuntion, and a host of other difficulties. Auntie works with these kiddos to overcome obstacles that are interfering with their participation in everyday activities.
Auntie has recently taken on a new patient...and she's doing it pro bono! Can you guess who that patient is? Here's a hint:

It's me!

Okay, so maybe I'm not really an OT patient. Auntie has been helping Mommy and Daddy figure out some of my quirkier habits, though. Like the teeth grinding problem from last month (which I still do on occasion). And this month's issue with pulling small fistfuls of hair out of my head.

I know. I'm a strange duck.

Basically, OT Auntie says both of these behaviors can be boiled down to my need for more proprioceptive input. Proprioceptive input=pressure on muscles and joints. Apparently, it's something I crave.

Auntie has taught Mommy and Daddy a few different strategies to employ when they see PI seeking behaviors, as well as a few "games" to play with me throughout the day to fulfill my proprioceptive needs.

The funny thing is, many of the activities are things I was already doing. Mommy and Daddy just didn't know to look at them as fulfilling a craving. So far, here's what I like best:
Pushing Auntie's laundry cart around the house.
Jumping in my crib.
Being tossed into a pile of pillows. We call this "Crash".
Chewing on straws.
Auntie, Mommy, or Daddy putting firm pressure on my shoulders and the sides of my head.
Doing the toddler version of a headstand.

Mommy and Daddy are very thankful that Auntie has been able to help them figure me out. And Mommy has been especially thankful for Auntie's constant reassurance that my prorioceptive cravings are most likely not an indication of a deeper problem.

Thank you, Auntie, for using your professional knowledge on me! You are a fabulous OT, and all of your patients are lucky to have you. I ought to know.


Michele Cannon said...

What a blessing Aunt Alyssa is!

Kelly Chambers said...

What a lucky girl to have an in house professional!

The Bradshaw's said...

Alyssa has an awesome job! Kuddos to her and that's awesome she can pull her knowledge and experience and help you out.

alyssa685 said...

That first picture of me is hideous!! But I still love this post. Thanks for all the wonderful things you said about Auntie! I love getting to help out with my niece and share my knowledge!