As the new rolls in, many of us begin to take stock: What will stay the same? What could be new and different? How do I want to change?
When I hold this lens of change and possibility to my own OT practice, here’s what I see: a lot of the same-old stuff......tinted with a glimmer of the new. But that glimmer didn’t just appear. I though about what I wanted a lot. Then I searched for it. And finally I picked out my particular shade of OT glimmer and stuck it right smack into my work.
If your OT practice feels stale, I know how it drains your enthusiasm. It makes you feel dull and boring, and your work days aren’t inspired like you imagined they would be, but rather like factory work doing the same old thing day in and day out, waiting for the days to pass.
Here’s the thing: it really doesn’t have to be this way. As the year winds down, we all have the opportunity to make the choice to bring new life into our work as OTs. We can reestablish our enthusiasm, skill, and expertise, and, most importantly, bringing joy back into our daily work.
What My Practice Looks like as 2019 Begins
THE SAME OLD: For a while now, I’ve felt really strong in my work with young kids with autism. I remember how exciting it was as I was getting here. Every new intervention and unexpected success was a spark that kept me going.
Now, I still enjoy it, but it’s all very familiar. Sensory social routines. Play skills. Object schedules. Communication exchange. Self-care routines. Parent coaching. Etc, etc. I’ll keep going into homes and working with young kids because I enjoy doing it and families need help. But this isn’t an area I’m having an easy time finding opportunities for growth and newness.
THE BORING: I do a little school-based teletherapy. It is predictable and steady. My work isn’t inspired but it’s also not uninspired. It’s my factory work. And it lets me spend time with my kid in the afternoons.
THE SMOOTH ROAD: My work coaching and training OTs is past the initial giddy build-up phase and into the smooth road. It feels good. I’m constantly learning and growing as I go. I feel successful and proud of my work, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.
THE NEW: For several years I’ve been inching my way over into working with more adolescents with autism. In my last job I dipped in my toes and I loved it. Working with more concrete adolescents was an easy transition. But when I get kids who are more conventionally bright, I realize I have so much to learn. For years that made me want to stick with my young kids and my concrete learners. And at that time, it was the right move. But now, the chance to grow is calling to me.
In 2019 I have a new opportunity working with high schoolers with level 1 autism, and I'm so ready for growth. I’m buying new assessments and reference books, taking new trainings and learning new interventions. I feel that spark of the new! And it feels so good.
Where Is Your Spark?
As you peer into the new year and take stock of your work, where is your opportunity to strike a new flame?
Where is that part of your practice that feels stale even though you know you could be doing so much more?
Who is that client you are excited about but feel like you just need some different skills?
Or even, who’s that child that you could imagine being excited about if you just knew what to do?
If we don’t nurture these opportunities, they simply fade away. But we always have a choice we can make to cultivate new energy, enthusiasm, and excitement in our work.
Learn Play Thrive Training Opportunities in 2018
One of the great joys in my work is watching the therapists who I coach and train build their confidence and begin to excel in their work with kids with autism. It’s not that I made up some brilliant intervention. I’ve simply gotten the right trainings and mentorship from the right people at the right moments in my career.
And I love figuring out how I can effectively pass this along to other therapists so they can feel confident and inspired in their work with kids with autism too. Therapists email me after trainings and say "I absolutely cannot wait to try all of this on Monday!" And my coaching clients write to say, "I just spoke up in a team meeting for the first time and totally felt like I knew what I was talking about!" The spark is contagious.
Want to Catch It?
If you just want to dip your toes in and start with a small but powerful practical training, I have two 2-hour trainings just for you. (If you want way more, keep scrolling!)
PLAY SKILLS MINI-TRAINING. In this live online training, I'll teach therapists the very best of what I know about assessing and teaching play skills and social play skills to kids with autism. This is the type of training where you walk away armed with tons of concrete skills you cannot wait to try when you head back to work. I've taken a huge amount of the latest research-based interventions, put them into practice, and re-packaged it all for you so it's easy to pick up and use right away. Join me on January 8th at 4:00 CST.
BEHAVIOR PROBLEM SOLVING – Last month I taught a live course where I shared my exact behavior problem solving process (complete with a workbook and a fillable PDF) to help therapists develop true expertise in using an autism lens in developing hypotheses and interventions for behaviors with their clients with autism. We went super deep and therapists walked away with with so much new knowledge. I couldn't believe the incredible ideas they came up with after just two hours of training. You can still catch the replay!
THE LEARN PLAY THRIVE APPROACH TO AUTISM If you really want to go deep into working with kids with autism, cultivate new expertise, and transform your OT practice, my six hour online self study course opens for enrollment four times per year! This course is online and self-paced. If you take either mini-course above and then decide to take the full training, you’ll get a coupon for the full mini-course enrollment fee off of The LPT Approach to Autism, so the mini-course is like a freebie!
I’ve also got live trainings coming up in Durham, NC and Rome, GA!
Let's Do This
If you want to improve your work with kids with autism, I can’t wait to help put a new spark in your OT work in 2019. Make a resolution: go sign up now, mark it on your calendar, and let's build a fire.
IT'S GOING TO BE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
For those of you who have already taken my autism interventions course and are knocking down my door for advanced topics, I hear you too! I've got a training on functional communication ready for you and one on parent coaching coming down the pipeline for you in the summer of 2019. Stay tuned!
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