Video: Ocupational Therapy – Waking up the arms and legs

Emmett just started with his new Occupational Therapist the other day. His schedule changed because of school and his original OT will be on maturity leave so we have moved to a new therapist.

What I want to show you here is what is being done to help prepare Emmett’s body for all the exercises. When Emmett first arrives at the facility, he selects the activities he wants to do today and sticks the little pictures to his board (seen in the video at the bottom right of the screen). Once the activities are selected, the therapist begins to prepare Emmett’s body by brushing his skin and manipulating his joints.   This helps to wake up Emmett’s arms and legs so he is better equipped to participate in the OT activities. I know it looks a bit weird but it’s a very important part of OT. In fact we do this at home Emmett before attempting to get him dressed.  Perhaps Julia would be kind enough to give a better explanation if she gets a chance to because she has amazing insight into this arena. ” />

I wanted to show a slightly different side of OT. I also wanted to share with you all what I mean when I say something about brushing Emmett. I think it’s important to understand what these amazing therapists are doing to help our kids to better navigate their world. They deserve a great deal of respect and appreciation for what they do.

 UPDATE: I knew Julia would step in and help to better explain.
“Basically the deep pressure of ‘brushing’ and joint compressions provides intense feedback to the nerve receptors in Emmett’s joints and muscles so his body has a better awareness of where they are..like you said, it’s a bit of a ‘wake up’. If we’re being technical, this isn’t the intended use of the brushing program or the ‘therapressure program’ which is a treatment for sensory defensiveness.”


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Rob Gorski
Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate
Rob Gorski

Rob Gorski

Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate

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