Happy OT Month! How are you celebrating OT month this year?
I love being able to promote awareness of OT! I was lucky enough to be able to volunteer in my son’s Kindergarten class last week to showcase our profession, since they were learning all about community helpers. I loved making the kids shout out, “Occ-u-pa-tion!” and talk about all the small “jobs” we have to do every day. I asked how many of the kids put their own clothes on this morning. Most of them raised their hands. Then I told them that sometimes grown-ups get strokes, and they aren’t able to use one of their hands. I asked them to figure out how they would put on their clothes with only one hand, and that an OT could help them do that!
I also talked about how some OTs work in hospitals and help doctors. His class had already had a doctor give a presentation, and my son asked the question whether an OT was also a community helper. She replied that yes they are, and that they help doctors. Of course, since both my husband and I are school-based therapists, I talked about how some OTs work in schools and help teachers!
My favorite part was when I brought out some of the tools we use. I brought a Move N Sit cushion and a pressure vest, and took volunteers to try them out. I also brought my wheelbarrow walking mat and talked about how we can help kids get stronger, but in more fun ways than going to the gym and lifting weights! Of course I got a ton of volunteers to try out the mat. I also brought putty, a Start Right grip, and a Handiwriter. I still remember one of the boys giggling as he tried out the Handi-writer in front of the class.
The whole presentation must have really inspired my son, because when he had a project to create a paper doll of what he wanted to be when he grew up, he picked OT! (He had always previously said he wanted to be a doctor, more specifically a “dancing doctor scuba-diver.”) I racked my brain to figure out how to make an OT, and then I realized I could just use the Super OT logo I made for an OT month shirt! The photo at the top is his finished project.
Happy OT month, fellow super occupational therapists!