Occupational Therapists and Balls

I want to talk about balls. Balls are super awesome and we use them all the time in occupational therapy. Yesterday I got a pamphlet for a “Therapeutic Balls” course and while I can totally see its value and importance, I still snickered.

I am so sad that we can’t use the word balls in sentences without it sounding dirty. For example, I gave my 3 little boys Yuk-E balls the other day, which are funky balls with weird stuff in them so they feel fun. I was going to be talking for a few minutes and wanted them to have something to hold onto while listening. I said to them, “Okay guys, you can continue to hold your balls as long as I can tell you are listening.”
The boys were too young to realize what I said, but I realized it after I said it and felt mortified. I also had to keep from laughing hysterically. 
I’ve also done it with a boy who kept picking out a blue colored ball. I exclaimed, “You really like blue balls, don’t you!” and once again, realized what I said. I think that time I had an aide with me and we did a sideways glance and tried not to laugh out loud but our vital organs were bursting with amusement. 
I truly, 100%, do not do it on purpose but when it comes out and I hear myself I cringe. I am so glad I almost never work with the older ones that would understand the implications.
The worst one was this child who enjoyed having this spiky ball rubbed on his back, it calmed him. During the IEP meeting a few years ago I discussed that the child could potentially go to the LRC and ask for a “ball massage”. As soon as I said it I was like AUGH and everyone laughed as they realized what I had just said and how horrible it sounded. Then the dad chimed in, “I wish I could have a ball massage!” At least the IEP team and family had a sense of humor, although that last part was a little much for a meeting. AHAHAAHHA  
I thought it was hilarious. I love balls (the kind we use with kids!!). But I wish it wasn’t so easy to mess up when talking about them. 
Sep 06, 2013 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

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