Recently, an article was posted on the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) Facebook called "What to Say to Parents During Their First OT Visit: Q&A," which caught my attention. This article was written in response to a blog post about a mother's experience in taking her three-year-old to an occupational therapist, and how she felt following the results of the initial evaluation. AOTA contacted the mother regarding the blog post to follow up and give insight into her perceptions leaving the evaluation.
Articles like this are so important to clinicians. We see children with delays and disabilities everyday, and know the importance and efficacy of therapies for these children. But what about parents, who may not have experience with delays or disabilities?
The mother, Claire Vath, stated:
The occupational therapist that initially evaluated him was wonderful. I felt heartbroken because someone was telling me that maybe my 3-year-old needed help that I couldn’t give him. The OT was gentle, kind, and put me as much at ease as I could be. The issue was mine, really, along with the realization, as it was clear that he couldn’t perform like he was supposed to perform, that he really did need some sort of help. I didn’t yet understand what his issue was really.
Being told your child is different or delayed can be a scary experience for parents, and being a compassionate therapist is always a must. To read more of Claire's thoughts on her first OT visit, and what she thinks of OT now, read the article here.
Shelly tries to do OT on her dog sometimes...