If my last post generated a 10 minute discussion in an OT classroom, I wonder what my encore could do. For my encore entry, I will write about a friendship I have developed with an Aspie parent.
I met this parent on a Facebook fan page called Asperger's Awareness page. Her young son has just recently gotten the diagnosis of Asperger's also. Anyway, this fan page where fellow Aspies and/or their family members from all over the world gather in one setting and share about their experiences. Simply put, it's like an Internet support group for people who want to know more about Asperger's without therapists. Like most people on the page who gets to know me, she was pleasantly shocked that I am planning to be an OT. Also, because we happened to believe in Christianity, it made rapport building a lot easier. Lastly, because I managed to get over the news very quickly, she found me as an inspiration. We have talked several times since- from my Christian articles to stuff I learned from my OT school to my life before and after my diagnosis.
In terms of OT school stuff, I shared with her the SCERTS (stands for Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support for those of you who are not familiar with it) model that Amy Laurent had come to the school based Pediatrics class to talk about. I am sure there will be more conversations after I learn what OT could assist the Aspie community as well as when her son grows up.
As for "my life before and after the diagnosis", I told her that I am in the process of re-learning my limits in terms of public speaking. She agreed with me that it is a tough thing for an Aspie who is diagnosed late in life to do. After all, public speaking was never my forte. But, I sucked up to do it before the diagnosis. I told her that if I had OT interventions earlier in my life, I think it would have made a difference.
Anyway, now here is my reflection.
1. I think opportunities like this allowed me to explain to parents and Aspies about OT. I believe that practice makes perfect. The more I do this, the smoother I will be at it.
2. Because there are other such fan pages out there on Facebook for other disabilities, I think it will be a good idea for other OT's who either have experience treating clients or their own experiences in these disabilities to share in the Facebook communities. Your input can make a world of difference to people's lives, even if you couldn't provide intervention to them. At the very minimum, you could guide them in the right direction. Of course, this is also a way to increase the visibility of OT in public!
3. These pages are great for parents and/or individuals when they feel helpless or with low motivation. Of course, they only work if these people are comfortable of using social networking websites.
4. Doing this over and over is giving me practice in explaining OT concepts in layman terms. I think this is important for all of us when we go out in the field, whether you already are in it or are planning to do so in the future.
That's all folks. Let's make a difference in someone's life today.