The Benefits of Flexible Seating

Let’s face it, it’s much harder to focus when your body isn’t ready. If you can’t sit still in a chair, or if the chair isn’t the right size for you, it makes it so much more difficult to pay attention in general. I have a hard time sitting in an uncomfortable classroom chair for…

The Vagus Nerve and Emotions

Did you know that there’s a nerve that runs from your brain through your face and upper body that helps regulate your emotions? It’s called the vagus nerve. It communicates motor and sensory signals to every single organ in your body. It’s what controls your “fight or flight” response, and tells you when it’s okay…

Interoception: A Look Inside

So now that you all know what interoception is (and if you don’t, no worries, click here or here for a refresher), let’s dive a little deeper. How does this system work exactly? Well, you have sensory receptors all over and throughout your body. They send signals to your brain, which makes sense of those…

Proprioception: What is it and why is it so calming?

Your proprioceptive system is one of the most organizing and regulating system in our bodies. Case in point, Temple Grandin’s squeeze machine, “a device that delivers deep touch pressure to help her learn to tolerate touching and to reduce anxiety and nervousness”. When I think about things that are relaxing to most people, I think…

Person-First or Identity-First?

One of the very first things we learned when I was in my first semester of OTA school was to use “person-first” language rather than “identity-first” when referring to our patients. We were told that to use “identity-first” (identifying a person by their disability first, as in “an autistic person”) was insensitive and demeaning to…

The Pros and Cons of Reward Charts

Throughout my career both as a Behavior Interventionist, and as an OT Assistant, I’ve seen a wide variety of uses for reward charts. I’ve used them mostly in schools, but often in homes as well, and for so many different reasons, I’ve lost count. Everything from completing homework assignments or doing chores around the house,…

10 Simple Ways to Get Proprioceptive Input at Home.

Your proprioceptive system.
The code name for this in the OT world is “heavy work“, and a common phrase we use is “heavy work always works”. Receiving input to your joints and muscles has been shown to have an overwhelmingly high

5 Ways to Cope with Changes in Routine

We all thrive off of routine in our lives. But what about when something unexpected happens and your plans have to *gasp!* CHANGE?!?? You can be as proactive as you want, and plan ahead all you want, but sometimes the universe just feels like throwing a wrench in your day.

How to Calm Down by Coloring, and Why it Works

One of my favorite pastimes when I was younger, aside from continuously jumping off of the couch in an attempt to fly, was coloring. I had a tote bag filled just about to the top with crayons. There had to be over a hundred in there. Coloring books were my JAM.