Friday, January 18, 2008

FRIDAY FUZZY! Long, but worth it!

I am so excited to share this with you!

As you read, if you think you or someone you know would be interested in attending the conference, feel free to contact me with questions. While I am not directly involved in setting up the conference, I will be present and assisting as I am needed. If I don't know the answer, I will find out for you!

Many of you know that I am an occupational therapist. My main focus for over 10 years has been children. Over the years, I have worked with many wonderful professionals, children, and families. My place of employment has been consistent for those 10 years as well.

Hard to believe in a world of constant change, especially with jobs!

I came to my job as a young and eager therapist. I knew my passion was for children. I just needed a chance. God's hands were solely responsible for me finding this place and I consider it an honor and a blessing to be associated with it. I will always refer here and in other correspondence to my employer as my "boss", but you need to know that it is way more than that. This place, my "boss" have been a strong force in my life all these years. It is about loyalty, respect, and friendship for me as well. I say that now for several reasons, most of which are not the purpose of this post today. The reason that it is important right now is so that you will know that where I work is a small private practice. One that looks to empower children and families. One that values families, both our clients and our own. We don't toot our horns with claims of being more than what we are. We simply do what is best for our kids.

Here is my proof. Over the 10 years, I have gone from full-time to 2 days a week, in order to accommodate my family. I was fully supported in that decision by my boss. I have lived 5 minutes away, then 30, now 45 if all the moons line up and there is no traffic! I "quit" for a year to have my first baby, coming back periodically to help when I could. I did it again to have my son. As long as I live in this area, I won't even attempt to work at another pediatric practice closer to home.

Ok! Enough about me! Really I just wanted to give you a little background so you might understand my excitement over an event that is a first for us!!

At our office, we work with children and families dealing with many different things such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and torticollis. However, many of the children that come to see us for either occupational therapy or speech therapy fall into a few main categories; Sensory Integration dysfunction (this has many sub-categories I won't mention here!), Autism, Asperger's, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, Dyspraxia, visual-perceptual issues, and language/speech or auditory disorders.

We use many strategies to work with these children. Not one way is the right way every time. Like magicians, you must be ready with a variety of tricks in your bag. And although there are some treatment strategies or cures out there that we don't particularly endorse for most of our children, we understand that parents need to make choices that they feel is right at the time. Our job is to educate them the best that we can. I won't speak for "we" (although, I believe I am not the only one in our office who has embraced more of this thinking over time.), but I personally have stretched as a professional over the these last few years in terms of the impact that diet, nutrition, and environment have on our children. And while I do not believe these are cures, I do sincerely believe that changes in these areas can have a significant positive impact on our children. I hope you will respect that as my opinion because it is not my wish at this time to create an atmosphere of debate with this post. Discussion maybe, but not debate.

I really do have a single purpose with this post!!

In February, our office is hosting an incredible conference in the Dallas area. This is a wonderful opportunity for both professionals and parents to learn some amazing tools to work with their children. I believe this is the first time these speakers have come to this area. It will allow many who can't make it to the coastal sides of the US a chance to come and learn closer to home.

If you have not heard of the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, I encourage you to get started with a little background.

Here is some great information about the DIR/Floortime Model that they developed. We not only embrace and endorse it, but we have seen what it can do for children and their families.

You can read more about Floortime at the website dedicated to it.

To read more about the particular conference we are hosting, go here, then click to see the full brochure regarding the Dallas conference.

Thank you for enduring such a long post! Thank you for allowing me to feel comfortable in using my place as a forum for getting good things out to as many people as possible.

And I was thinking, if you are interested, I would be happy to start sharing information and ideas periodically that may be helpful to families that are dealing with special circumstances and their children. I had never really intended to use this site as a platform for what I do professionally, but it might be nice to share from time to time in a public service type way!

Happy Friday Fuzzies to all!


The West's said...

it's so awesome to hear someone so passionate about their work - not just in it for the paycheck!

I know some people that might be interested... I'll pass the info along!

Danette said...

I'm with you on the foods. My neighbor's child has an intolerance to salicylic acids found in certain fruits, and vegetables in addition to certain additives/food colorings. I can see a complete change in her personality when she's had the wrong food. She's also been diagnosed with sensory integration disorder. For us, we try to avoid too many preservatives or food colorings. I wish this was in Austin!

Jenna said...

Cade has been so helped by therapy. I would be interested in information. You have been so helpful to me in the past and I appreciate it so much!