This secret weapon helps the families I work with reach their OT goals faster, better and for a fraction of the $.

A few months ago I did a team training at SPA all on how to use sensory strategies to give parents, teachers and related professionals another layer of knowledge to develop amazing humans. 

 

Then we also dived into body awareness, processing speed, motor skills, executive skills and the ever-popular “What else can an OT do?” -yes, it got CRAZY!

 

In my 20 + years of practicing OT I am at the point that I rely on task analysis more and more.  Task analysis is the OT profession superpower. (Seriously, I don’t know of another profession that plans their intervention this way)  

 

Task analysis is the analysis of how a task is accomplished, including a detailed description of both manual and mental activities, task and element durations, task frequency, task allocation, task complexity, environmental conditions, necessary clothing and equipment, and any other unique factors involved in or required for one or more people to perform a given task.[1]  

 

Take that in a minute….

 

I hope this helps you see how many things a child has to do within milliseconds in order to be successful at ___________.  (improve his attention, copying, handwriting, cutting, following a 3,4,5 step activity, shower, hold a fork, complete a word search, do a jumping jack….)  

 

Yes, it is a lot!  Honestly its a miracle I can put on my shoes 🤣

 

The underlying reasons kids can’t succeed at a given task are many times the same;  sustained attention, automatic movements, accurate movements, being able to know what and when to do (the thing).

 

Yes,  as an OT we can work on so many things to get results.  At this point in my practice, I guide families in 3 ways:

  1. Education and conversations.
  2. Working on the actual “thing” the child is stuck with.
  3.  Going deep and working on the neural network to create changes with the underlying reasons the kids are struggling.

 

Hence why a few years ago I created my Blended OT program.  It is the direct path to progress. It focuses on automaticity in a way me and my 20+ years of experience alone can not do. I look at this as the Fast Pass to function.  Set up a call HERE.

Some skills that must be automated for our kids to be successful:

  • Talking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Reading
  • Alphabet knowledge
  • Running
  • Handwriting
  • Basic math facts
  • Bike Riding
  • Jumping

 

When things are not automatic it becomes very difficult to move on to higher learning because they are using all their brainpower to get through the basics.  This leads to a distracted and discouraged learner. They are working at Turkey Dinner level all the time and it is exhausting.

 

So let me bring this back to the staff training.  They also wanted to know how I can best help the families that they work with.  “When can we refer to you vs another OT?” Always collaboration over competition.

 

The best way to explain how I work with the children was to have them do 1 minute of neuronet minute. After they completed the minute I asked them what they thought we were working on.  The replied motor skills, attention, coordination, visual attention, listening, balance. YES, YES and YES to all of the above.

 

Here are some of the benefits of my Blended OT Program including neuronet:

  • Improved motor skills- jumping, handwriting.
  • Bilateral integration (using both sides of the body) – Jumping Jacks
  • Gravitational insecurity – knowing where their body is in space and when it’s off the ground like standing on a bench. Sitting on the toilet, standing on a stepping stool to brush teeth.
  • Balance- riding a bike, stepping into a bathtub
  • Automatic listening needed for sustained attention- no examples needed here.
  • Initiating an activity- starting homework, starting a bath, preparing for an activity.
  • Sustained attention to complete the activity – completing the homework, putting it in the backpack and turning it in.
  • Neural pathways, neuroplasticity and mirror neurons are all working together getting the brain to practice what we want the brain to learn. If we want.  If we need to be able to copy shapes then we need to practice visual attention while completing a motor activity.
  • Speed and accuracy to increase automatic skills*  I think this may be the most powerful part and what boosts my OT goals. Go back to my list of automatic activities.  Yea, basically everything!

 

Who is Blended OT for? 

 

Let me introduce you to lil’ Johnny:  He has a very hard time in kindergarten.  On the surface, it looks like he may need a tutor to help him with academics, handwriting, communicating,  he appears clumsy, he gets frustrated easily. {Side note: a kindergartener that needs a tutor is a HUGE red flag.  The student is usually in the wrong setting or the student needs some support for the underlying reasons he is falling behind -not a tutor.} 

 

He is usually trying but just can’t get it and experiences failure after failure.  When we look closer he is struggling with underlying skills like motor planning, problem-solving, processing speed, where is my body in relation to the world, experiencing success, confidence.  At some point, Johnny may or may not have a diagnosis but he is definitely struggling to learn in his environment.

 

After the initial placement session, Johnny will begin to practice full-body movement activities that integrate vision, hearing, motor skills.  He will start to practice the areas he struggles with while experiencing success. We will see him improve his motor skills, improve his regulation and improve function.  He will become an independent learner and a problem solver at home and in the classroom.  

 

Parents will see improvements while participating in the program both the home program and the neuronet program.  More important his parents will start seeing improvements in life.  

 

I have had families tell me:

  • They can get dressed faster in the mornings
  • They can sit through storytime
  • They can make the bed 
  • They can gather materials for shower time independently
  • I had a 12-year-old tell me she can “Not much except it’s easier to get out of bed to be ready for school.  I’m taking less time to finish my tests. I think it’s cuz I read faster.”
  • They can now go to a restaurant because he can sit for more than 5 min.

 

Do you have a Lil Johnny or lil’ Mary you know and love?  Reach out and we can get them on the path to independent learning with Blended OT. 

Set up a call HERE.

 

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