Helping Kids with Autism Learn, Play and Thrive with Meg Proctor

Episode Summary

Many kids with autism have significantly delayed play skills, as well as they have difficulty learning new skills and expanding upon the skills they already have. More often than not therapists find themselves trying to teach children with autism how to play through imitation, but these children often have major difficulty with the imitation of others. Combine that with poor engagement and visual regard for others and learning to play for a child with autism can be daunting task. In this episode, we bring on Meg Proctor MS, OTL/R who is an expert in working with children with autism and who loves teaching therapists strategies to put in their tool belt. Meg and Sarah chat about all things autism and play.

Show Notes

Meg and Sarah discuss:

  • Common misconceptions about autism
  • Looking at the broader picture of children with autism
  • Utilizing the right tools for each individual child
  • Importance of evaluation and re-evaluation
  • Meg’s journey into specializing in autism
  • Finding the right mentor who aligns with your purpose and values
  • Working in early intervention and how that shaped Meg’s current work
  • Common questions from other therapists about autism and play
  • Selecting the right goals for working on play skills with children with autism
  • Identifying play skill goals versus social play goals and when to use them
  • Using simple activities to increase generalization from during therapy to the child’s daily routine
  • Utilizing a balance between using resources within the client’s homes and bringing a therapy bag
  • Use of naturalistic strategies to get them to start imitating
  • Scaffolding up or down to adjust the strategies to teach them skills, especially when they are rigid
  • How to structure you sessions
  • Meg’s company Learn Play Thrive

Contact her:

http://www.learnplaythrive.com

Coupon Code for OT 4 Lyfe Listeners: OT4Lyfe25

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OTandAutism/

Email: meg@learnplaythrive.com

Project: Sensory with Rachel Harrington and Jessica Hill


Episode Summary

Sensory processing is a complex entity with lots of intricacies and is often times overlooked and misunderstood. As occupational therapists, it is our job to uncover underlying sensory processing and sensory modulation problems within our clients and then educate and provide tips and strategies to help them learn to integrate the information for success and optimal function within their daily lives. Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L come on the show to cover a broad overview of what sensory processing is, what it looks like, and some of their favorite activities to address sensory concerns.

Show Notes

Sensory processing is a complex entity with lots of intricacies and is often times overlooked and misunderstood. As occupational therapists, it is our job to uncover underlying sensory processing and sensory modulation problems within our clients and then educate and provide tips and strategies to help them learn to integrate the information for success and optimal function within their daily lives. Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC and Jessica Hill, COTA/L come on the show to cover a broad overview of what sensory processing is, what it looks like, and some of their favorite activities to address sensory concerns.

Sarah, Rachel, and Jessica discuss:

  • Common misconceptions of sensory processing
  • What sensory processing and sensory integration is
  • An overview of the sensory systems
  • The fine line between typical sensory functioning and dysfunction
  • How they got into and interested in sensory integration
  • What the Sensory Project is and how it started

Their favorite sensory activities and equipment: The Hammock Swing

Sensory resources for therapists:

Find them:

Happiness Through Movement, Education and Volunteering with Elizabeth DeBlasi


Episode Summary

Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L has developed her passion in pediatric occupational therapy into international travel and volunteer work.  She immediately took action to make her dreams about volunteering internationally come true. She has since become an integral part of the new non-profit Therapists Without Borders.

Show Notes

Elizabeth DeBlasi, MS, OTR/L is a professor at Long Island University who woke up one night with a passion for international volunteer work.  Within two weeks she was on a plane to Cape Town, South Africa to learn more about Therapists Without Borders. She and Sarah discuss their passions for pediatric therapy and how much they value sharing their knowledge around the world.  They discuss:

  • How many hats OTs seem to wear on a regular basis
  • Getting to Cape Town with 2 weeks notice for WFOT
  • Finding your calling in OT and combining your passions
  • Empowering parents to make the primary difference in their child’s life
  • Passion for teaching and training students
  • Getting inspiration in the middle of the night
  • Balancing work with passions outside of work
  • Using yoga with sensory stimulation for young children
  • What happens at a Silence Retreat
  • Volunteer work within traveling, positive and negative experiences
  • Advocating for yourself and skills when volunteering
  • What makes Therapists Without Borders a great organization
  • How volunteering affects both the therapist and the client

Contact Elizabeth:

Instagram: @the.ot.movement

Find out more about Therapists Without Borders:  http://twbinc.org