CRAZZZZZY radical OT ideas…..
I want to go back to the basics with my kids when I start this next school year with my elementary schoolers. I intended to do it THIS year but um, it was my first time starting the school year (I started a year ago in April) and things were overwhelming and I just didn't do it as planned. I want to make sure A) each child knows my name, my title, and why I am working with that child. B) Each child can tell me “Today is Month, Day, Year” C) each child can tell me how their engine is running (ALERT program language) and how their day is going , and then we can determine our schedule for that session – with several “mandatory” things from me as needed, but some discussion on the other things based on frustration level for the day, etc.
Here is my thought process before you scoff.
A) I bet you (invisible) money that if you ask most of the kids on your caseload, even ones you see all the time, and this includes speech therapy, PT, APE, etc, that many of them don't know your name. Don't assume. Flat out ask.
B) I bet you if they know your name, they still don't know your role (or they think you are speech) or why you work with them.
C) Many of them have NO clue as to their day/time orientation and that includes when weekends are, or breaks, etc.
D) We all have good days and bad days, and days where we can handle more than others. I want kids, even kindergarteners, to be able to discuss with me, on a very basic level, how they are doing. That doesn't mean a kid can opt for “Breaks” and easy stuff every time, but we can certainly discuss some of what we will do based on their engine level/frustration level. (IE maybe we don't tie shoes on a day that's having a lot of frustration!) I want the child to be able to start working on identifying their own body/mind cues and how it can affect their output. Perhaps lofty but I am optimistic.
For the record, many of my kids do know my name/title/date etc, but I want ALL my kids to get these concepts down, ASAP, next year….at least start the process. I'll have visuals, scripts, etc. I wouldn't spend a ton of time on these things depending on the child's goals, but at least want to have them addressed at some point early on. I want to work with speech on these things too of course. I recently shocked a speech therapist at one of my schools by pointing out most of the kids don't know her name the way she assumed they did!
Here is a conversation I had recently with a 5 year old new to my caseload.
me: what's my name?
child: (thinks) Miss Karen
me: what do I do here, what is my job?
child: playing with kids
So…I love that he thinks my job is playing with kids, but I need/want him to understand why I work with him….as should all of them.
Its 1130pm..I wanted to write more (note to self – dance, handiwriter, calendar) but I am getting sleeepy. Tomorrow morning I am blocked in by a tri-athlon running through my area, so I guess maybe in the morning I'll write??? we'll seeee