My pediatric OT clients are exceptional children: they demonstrate behaviours that are MORE or LESS than their peers do. For example, your child might be:
-more worried, anxious, stressed, frustrated, or controlling
-more sensitive and perceptive
-more “picky” and selective about food and eating* See below for Feeding Therapy Information
-more fidgety or physically active, have difficulty sitting still
-less attentive, more disorganized
-less communicative, social, or empathetic
-neurodiverse: giftedness, ADHD, ASD, sensory processing, learning differences, twice exceptional
Given their exceptionalities, these children may be more challenging to understand and to raise. Sometimes, it is simply because their way of being in the world differs from what is expected in “typical” child development. They may struggle at home, at school, and in the community due to the mismatch between their abilities and the environments that are built for the “norm.” Other times, there is a need that is unmet, that the child is trying to communicate through their behaviour. For example, a child might act bossy and controlling on the outside, when s/he really feels powerless and out of control inside and doesn’t know how to deal with these feelings. The behaviour is the child’s unskilled attempt at solving a problem. My job as an OT is to find out what is behind the behaviour, to teach new skills, and to find a greater degree of overlap between the person, their environment, and the activities they want or need to do on a daily basis, with a focus on the child’s strengths (their “magic” – in essence, I am a “Magic Finder.”)
I work with families to better understand their child, to support optimal brain and nervous system development, and to foster conscious parenting and secure attachment relationships, which are foundational to a child’s mental health and emotional resilience. I draw from the fields of psychology, family science, occupational therapy, neuroscience, mindfulness, and energy psychology in a unique approach to whole wellness.
Children’s Feeding Therapy
I use an eclectic approach based on the work of leading therapists such as: Dr. Toomey (SOS Approach), Fraker, Walbert & Cox (Food Chaining), Ellyn Satter (Feeding Relationship), Marsha Dunn Klein (Get Permission Approach to Sensory Based Mealtime Challenges), and Wilbarger.
A feeding assessment includes a comprehensive investigation of physical, sensory, emotional, relational, and environmental factors related to your child’s eating or drinking issues.
Your child does not attend the first session – it is an interview with parent(s). If I need to see your child eating (to assess physical skills for eating, for example), you will be asked to provide the following to your next session: your child’s food and drink (preferred and non-preferred, including various food textures such as puree, easy to chew, harder to chew, if appropriate for your child’s stage of development); any bottles, cups, spoons, etc. that are typically used to feed your child.