I had many OT informed experiences this summer!
I traveled to the east coast and visited with my friend and colleague from Alexander Technique school. Loren Shlaes is a pediatric OT with a practice in NYC, in addition to being an Alexander Technique teacher (see photo of Loren and I!). We had a delicious lunch at Elephant and Castle followed by a visit to her practice. It was a pleasure to observe her effortless work with children. I saw an evaluation of reflexes and watched her work with eye contact and whole body integration. In one observation, a child climbed up an enormous foam wedge to leap towards Loren hiding on the other side. Such meaningful and innovative play! I am inspired by her work with pediatrics and hope to be just as skilled someday.
I also had the opportunity to play with my niece. First we tried sitting meditation and then lying on the floor meditation with our legs on the couch. This didn't last long. She became bored. Then, I tried developmental movement beginning with creating a starfish shape and she just wasn't interested. So I said, how about walking meditation.
Okay, she said. Lets go on the front porch.
She needed to be interested in this play. Surprisingly, walking meditation turned into choreography of postmodern pedestrian movement. We slowly walked up and down the stairs. We walked in lines and switched places. We took turns going from sitting to standing and explored how to get up without jolting our bodies from the chair. She liked this investigation so much that we practiced it again during another visit. This time we moved in various ways up and down the stairs inside the house and we explored how to crawl in a contralateral way (left hand moves as right leg moves and right hand moves as left leg moves).
Two more bits of info...
I visited Beverly, MA to interview with OT clinics. I plan on completing fieldwork there after I finish my second year of OT school (school starts next week-yipee!). My program doesn't send many students outside of California, but my family has many reasons to return to the east coast. So I was given permission to reach out from my fieldwork coordinator. Both clinics have top notch clinical instructors who I will learn a great deal from.
Lastly--upon return home--I started volunteering to teach "Move with the Alexander Technique" to multicultural elders at SAHA (Satellite Affordable Housing Associates). They have a well-organized and beneficial volunteer program. In these classes, I'm using all of my background in Alexander Technique, movement practices and the new studies of OT Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and Neurodevelopmental Technique in a gentle movement workshop. SJSU has a study abroad requirement, and I am fulfilling study abroad with this experience.
That's it for now. I hope to write at least one blog a month as I enter my second year. :) Until next time.....