Bunbury Occupational Therapy

Bunbury Occupational Therapy

SPOTS

Therapy For Children

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COVID-19: 5 Lessons the Military taught me

Posted on 21 March, 2020 at 3:30

Today I'd like to tell you about my stint in the Military! Did you know that I spent more than 10 years in the South African Military Services? In a time that the world is wrapping its head around a new way of living for 2020 due to COVID-19, you may ask what this have to do with anything relevant to the current pandemic. However, I'd like to share a few lessons learnt that is applicable for our practice now:


1. Follow orders

Orders, procedures and specific ways of doing things precisely are the way of life in the Military. You don't question the instructor when he says your shoes weren't shiny enough - you just run how far and fast and as many times as he demands. I came to realise as an instructor myself, that you want the troops to be fit, disciplined and following your commands without hesitation in a war situation. (Thankfully I've never been to war by the way).


When faced with this unprecedented position with COVID-19, I find myself in a similar situation. SPOTS - Therapy for Children's infection control policies are put in place to closely monitor, follow and apply all directives and instructions from the Chief Medical Officer and Prime Minister of Australia. I'm really good at following rules, so you can rest assured we will continue to do the right thing by you and your children.


2. Show Endurance

There were many times we had to do hard things to put our inner strength and grit to test. This past week had the same feeling for me: knowing something is hard, but that it will not last forever. Just like I can look back on long endurance marches with full kit on and smile now, we will be able to look back at 2020 remembering how strong we came out on the other side. 


Remember that our children need us as parents to be calm and resilient - they co-regulate with us. Please reach out if you need some extra support. 


SPOTS - Therapy for Children are here for you for the long run. We know something about endurance. We want to support your parenting during these tricky circumstances. And reassure you that you are all doing a great job!


3. Be Creative

Two examples comes to mind. Firstly, we received a rationed meal-pack when out on field exercises, lovingly referred to as "rat-packs". After a while, it became a challenge to see how creative we could prepare the ingredients to bust the feeling of eating saw-dust or grounded stockings. And boy, did we create ...uh ... interesting feasts!


Another memory that I want to share with you, was how as a young enlisted soldier, our platoon could form original ideas, create interesting pep-up songs, and get into mischief to outshine the other platoons. Think colouring the base's pet ducks with green colourant because that was our platoon's colour!


Creativity was part of life then, and it goes hand-in-glove with my life now as an OT. After all, we are trained to be creative. To think out of the box. To find solutions for tricky situations. And if ever there was a tricky situation, it is now.


At SPOTS - Therapy for Children, we have been thinking creatively how to bridge difficulties with following infection control directives. And I'm pleased to say, we are meeting this challenge heads-on and appreciate your support in the endeavour.


You will note some favourite equipment and toys are no longer available. But, having pulled my creative hat firmly over my head, you will also see how we use other equipment -safely- to continue to provide the intensity, frequency and duration of specific sensory input to boost sensory integration and regulation.


4. Be Prepared

It's amazing how my old unit's motto rings true: "Esti Parati" or Be Prepared. Not to panic or be paralysed by fear, but to hold onto hope, faith and good common sense, and to be prepared for any situation. 


At SPOTS - Therapy for Children, we will continue to provide our services face-to-face until directed otherwise. "Be Prepared" in mind though, we are fully ready to run an online service via video conferencing to continue our committed support to you in case of worsening conditions that forces a full lock-down. OT online is our practice's virtual branch and we are excited to launch it after having it on the backburner for years.


5. Teamwork is everything

You learn early on in the military that you are nothing without your platoon and that you have to have each other's back. Whenever the platoon didn't work together as a team, we were chased around buildings, pressured to do things faster, etc. etc. until we do it as a team. You suffer together during hard times, you laugh until you cry during good times and you forge lifelong friendships because of it. 


SPOTS - Therapy for Children are part of your child's team: The people that like, cheer, support and rally around your child with all their might. Our commitment to serve you and your child, does not change with COVID-19. 


I want to also reassure you that the OT's worldwide are in frequent communication with each other in different groups to brainstorm best practices and practical "how-to" ideas during these uncertain times. You have a global OT community behind you!


You are also in my team. Your support with extra measures in place, your friendships, checking up on us - you are great team players and I want to say a heartfelt thank you to our parents for it.


Let's take some deep breaths during this one-in-a-100 year pandemic and take heart: this too shall pass. 


Auditory Sensitivity

Posted on 2 March, 2020 at 5:15


Have you got a little Horton? One who hears every little thing and is perhaps too sensitive to sounds? My 3 top tips for auditory sensitivity:

 

1. Prepare your child when known triggers will occur in a day. This can be done verbally or with a visual schedule. Please do so well in advance!

 

2. Explore various strategies (with your child if possible) before you need it. These can include palm size picture cards of your child's favourite calming strategies to choose from when feeling anxious about noise, noise cancelling earphones or headphones, earplugs, heavy and deep muscle work before being exposed to noise, etc.

 

3. Use white noise. The soft humming of a fan, waterfall sounds, soft classical music, or even white noise apps may work better for your child because it helps to mask sounds that trigger or cause distress.

 

When in doubt, talk to your Occupational Therapist to guide you.

 

#DrSeussBirthday #HearingAwarenessWeek #SensoryIntegration #AuditorySensitivity


 

-Image of Dr Seuss' book obtained from

Iced Tea アイスティー: Horton Hears a Who and Japan

 

-Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

2020 - New offices

Posted on 2 February, 2020 at 4:15

2020 is here!


With much excitement, we awaited the completion of internal walls to the practice.


A reception and two offices now share the sensory integration gym area.


It was a dusty, messy process and Mrs "D" and Miss Esmé were cleaning everything inside-and-out for a whole week before opening the doors to our friends. 



We know this space will fullfil its purpose and serve the team and children well.


Come have a look!

New Year. New Name. New Blog. New Beginnings

Posted on 9 February, 2019 at 1:40

It's February 2019 and the new year brought about a change for the practice.


We've refreshed our name! The practice is now called SPOTS - Therapy for Children. This aligns with our longterm vision to be a vibrant hub of multi-disciplinary services with the sole purpose to focus on improving and positively impacting the lives of children and their families. You'll still see our colourful logo - it is a firm favourite!


Looking forward to continue to share interesting ideas and information and answer questions as they arise. Follow us on Facebook!


Warmest regards,

Es

Spring-time celebrations

Posted on 2 September, 2016 at 1:00

Spring has a special way to invigorate me. It fills me with renewed energy and I can't help but "buzz" with eagerness to get myself organised and ready for the rest of the year!




Every spring I am amazed that everything in nature confirms that change is good. That change is necessary. That nothing remains static and constant. And to top it all off, the promises of new life and new possibilities are all wrapped up in pretty, fragrant flowers and fresh leaves.


This spring in particular is extra special for us. Our practice has been helping children in the greater Bunbury region for 5 years already! What a blessing this journey has been... But this spring, we also celebrate a fresh start. We have a new website and a new premise for our dedicated sensory integration gym! A web store is also under construction. Exciting times indeed.


Keep an eye out on the photo gallery for sneak peeks at what's happening during the fit-out. We will be ready to continue our services from the new location at the start of term 4. The children will love and enjoy this new space! Maybe even just as much as the therapists do... :) 


Until next time,

Esmé




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