Today she will talk about being a service user – someone who has a lived experience of OT, and where that has taken her (so far!) in her life….
I have received Occupational Therapy input from birth up to the age of 18 and my therapy sessions had a big impact on me. So much so, in fact, that my family and I started exploring activities ourselves out of my therapy sessions to improve my fine motor skills.
My parents always made sure that I stayed active, and I took part in many after schools clubs as a child which to me was ‘just for fun’.
For my parents, however, it was seeking out opportunities to improve both my fine and gross motor skills as well as doing my daily physiotherapy programme at home.
Meaningful Occupation as Therapy
One activity that I took part in improved my fine motor skills massively is the piano. I started off with basic tunes as it was very hard to play using both hands. As I am right-handed and whenever I’m using my right hand my left hand tends to wander off. I knew I had a lot of work coming my way, but I was up for the challenge. Playing the piano challenges parts of my brain that needs to be challenged and pushed. I admit I’m not the best pianist in the world, but this doesn’t matter all the matters is that I enjoy it!
As a child, my house was full of toys, but little did I know, that my parents use to buy toys purposely to improve my fine and gross motor skills… I thought it was just a coincidence as when I played with a toy during therapy I’d often magically get a new toy a few days later! I played many games just like any other child but obviously, there’s was a reason why my parents bought building blocks and challenged me to build the tallest tower.
I’ve had a good experience of being a service user and feel like my OT input has been quite significant and it has shaped mine and my family’s life. I’ve always enjoyed going to therapy because I knew that I gained so much from it.
I really appreciate every single person that’s played a role in my care.
I wasn’t too fazed by being a service user because the older I got the more I understood what my needs were. My parents and I used to always have a big discussion before an annual review or consultant appointments to ensure that we made to most of the time we had with professionals. I am thankful that my parents always included me in making these decisions.
My only experience as a service user that wasn’t the best was that I felt like the ending of my OT process was quite abrupt. My final OT input from child services, I had an OT that I never met which didn’t feel right.
However, as an OT student and being able now to reflect on clinical reasoning, I can see why the team may have sent a more junior OT. They would have just collated information from my files and asked my previous OT’s.
Overall, my parents and I think highly of my OT input and of course it’s one of the reasons why I have almost finished my second year of training to be an OT.
Now that I understand OT even more with being a student, I appreciate what the Occupational Therapy profession has done for me even more than I did before.
Thank for reading,