Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being an OT in a social world

I've been thinking about writing this post since Sunday evening, after visiting with our friends at their house-warming. So, here goes.

 Basically, I really struggle to switch off my OT-brain and just be a normal citizen, interacting with others in a non-OT way.  Why?  Because one of an OT's main attributes is that of being super observant.  Nothing goes unnoticed.  I look at everyone's gait (their walking pattern / style), I check out their pencil grip (and proceed to comment on it), and I always wonder about visual perception (my life at a school kind of means that visual perception receives a LOT of my attention).  When there is someone in a wheelchair, I check out the specs.  I LOVE going to disabled sport meetings, because I get to see the newest technology in prosthetics and wheelchairs.  And when I look at kids?  Well, I check whether what they are doing is on par with what would be expected of them at their chronological age's developmental milestones.

Now, here's the question - will I look at my OWN kids that way?  I certainly do look at my brothers, sisters, PARENTS, husband (shame...he falls victim to this quite often) and nephews and nieces in this way.  Friends, friends' friends and their children are also not excluded.  So, will I monitor my own child that way?  Will I make sure he / she reaches their developmental milestones at exactly the right age?  Will I try to stimulate them to the point that they achieve all their milestones?  I don't know...but it might bug me for some time to come.

The reason for this random thought?  I met a little boy (2 1/2 years old) on Sunday who was born a whole 12 weeks early.  My first thoughts were immediately on how these children usually present - they have quite a great chance of having a hemorrhage due to fragile vasculature in their brains, which can lead to Cerebral Palsy.  They can be deaf, blind and developmentally delayed their whole life through.  And yet, this child was walking, talking, could see and hear.  I kept on telling his mother what a miracle child he is (as if she doesn't already know that), and the fact that he could do all these things was awesome.  But, of course I looked at him as a whole - I observed a lot, and yes, he still seems to have some delays if you compare him to other 2 1/2 years old.  Yet, I should be comparing him to himself - and that was pretty awesome!
Thus the question I'm throwing out there today is this: How does the type of work you do / your occupation, influence how you interact with people?

Anyways, that's my rambling for today - I'm now off to finish supper (Aubergine Masala and yellow rice!).  May you have a blessed week!

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