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Occupational Therapy

Strengths-based * Relationship-based * Neurodiveristy-Affirming

Neurodiversity refers to the variations in the human brain, and we believe that these variations are to be celebrated and embraced—not viewed as a disorder.

 

Growing up, a neurodivergent child may be told that they are “behind” on their milestones, such as tummy time, crawling, potty training, or “first words.”  Maybe they have trouble with breast/bottle feeding or transitioning to solid foods.  As they grow, maybe they have trouble learning to ride a bike or tie their shoes.  Maybe the neurodivergent child is really smart, and yet, they have trouble catching on to new concepts at school, such as writing or reading.  Maybe they have trouble sitting still, always needing to move, are hypersensitive to certain noises, or don’t seem to notice things that are quite obvious to others.  Maybe the number of foods that they eat are very limited or brand-specific, and certain clothing or textures are difficult to tolerate.  Maybe a strict routine or preferences must be followed, and if not, life becomes overwhelming and emotions get really big. 

 

A neurodivergent adult has generally learned to “mask” really well.  They’ve learned to get through their days, appearing to others (ex. Coworkers, people at a store, friends) that they are unbothered by their sensory environments, but when they get to the safety of their home, they feel as though they are falling apart and can’t handle the responsibilities and demands of everyday life.

 

Society is built for the neurotypical brain.  Grocery stores, schools, restaurants, workplaces, and event spaces can be busy, bright, loud, and altogether overwhelming and unfitting for many neurodivergent people.  This often makes them feel helpless or unsuccessful, and it can cause a lot of stress, anxiety, and trauma.  Prior to understanding their sensory differences, many neurodivergent people live their lives in a constant state of fight-or-flight, and they rarely feel comfortable within their own skin.  But once those differences are recognized and their sensory health is addressed, they feel happier, more relaxed, and overall more in control of their lives.  They flourish, and their unique strengths are recognized and celebrated.

 

We want to help you understand your sensory profile.  Our expertise is in sensory processing, so we view everything through the lens of the “seven senses,” which include: touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing, vestibular, and proprioception.  Our occupational therapist is skilled in helping you figure out how each of the seven senses work in your brain, how they are impacting your holistic health, and how they can be honored in your life despite neurotypical society.  

 

We work with both children and adults of all ages:  babies, toddlers, school-aged kids, adolescents, and adults of any life stage.

 

At SMOT, we use a strengths- and relationship-based approach to therapy.  This means that we work hard to build a positive relationship with our clients, and we follow the person's lead and interests in therapy sessions.  With that, we create an environment in which people are internally motivated to succeed and engage in the therapy process.  Caregivers are ALWAYS invited and encouraged to participate in the sessions. 

 

We do not require that you have a diagnosis for an evaluation or treatment;  however, if you choose to use health insurance to cover your OT services, your insurance company will likely require a diagnosis from a prescribing physician.  It is very common for us to work with people who have a diagnosis of:  Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia (Developmental Coordination Disorder), Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Developmental Delay, Down syndrome, PTSD, Cerebral Palsy, HIE, anxiety disorders, and many other psychological and physiological diagnoses.   

 

If any of the above resonates with you concerning your child, your family member, or your life, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.  We are more than happy to help you begin this journey, to answer questions that you might have, and to guide you with the navigation of this entire process.  

 

We are available by phone, email, or text.