Jaime Spencer, better known as Miss Jaime OT, holds a multitude of certificates: a Bachelor's Degree in Occupational Therapy, a Master's in Special Education, a Certificate in Advanced Professional Development for Assistive Technology Applications and she's a certified Handwriting Specialist. Combine all of that that with 15 years of experience and a love of crafts, and you get Miss Jaime's unique perspective on school based therapy services.
"One of my favorite parts of being an OT is teaching parents and teachers easy tricks to help their students. As a district Occupational Therapist, I often send out informational emails and handouts to the staff that I work with. I have always loved hearing “ I never knew that!” or “what a great tip!”. So many teachers have said to me, “You should write a book!”. So I started blogging!" Her Ask an OT posts cover a wide variety of reader questions from desensitization to improving grasp patterns.
One of Miss Jaime's Top Back to School Tip is for teachers and parents is to Draw Faces on the students’ pencils to remind them where to put their fingers. "It’s cheaper than a pencil grip, the kids think it’s funny, and it provides a visual reminder for them to hold their pencils correctly. " I also love her suggestion of putty google eyes on scissor handles to help encourage thumb up position.
Looking back at her premier year of blogging, Jaime recalls one of her favorites, Coping with Sensory Processing Dysfunction, in which a 17 year old guest blogger shared her story. "She wrote a very personal post for me on her experience as a person with Sensory Processing Dysfunction. I think she did a wonderful job! "
Miss Jaime worked for ten years in a sensory gym for preschool aged children and one her most memorable therapeutic moment comes from sensory based treatment. She was working with a child with Autism who had significant sensory issues; he had arrived at OT one day very over-stimulated and anxious.
"He was nonverbal at the time. We did a lot of sensory input, ending with a massage. He seemed a little more calmed but I put him in between two mats and applied pressure. I didn’t speak the entire session, had the lights off and very low music on. I applied the pressure to the mats for about five minutes. When I took the top mat off, he looked up at me with tears streaming down his face. At first I was shocked and upset, thinking he must have been scared. But then, he gave me the biggest grin. He must have needed the sensory input in order to feel regulated and was finally able to “release” that anxiety and overstimulation. It’s like they say, “sometimes you just need a good cry”.
Though only a year on the therablogging scene, Miss Jaime OT seems to have found her niche for helping parents, teachers and therapists to improve a child's school experience. If you want to learn more about Miss Jaime OT, or have a question for her Ask an OT section, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.