Episode 64 - Sensory, Stress, & Behavior


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Welcome to the show notes for the Episode 64 of the OT School House Podcast.


Today, I am welcoming Olivia Martinez-Hauge, MFTA, OTR/L, back to the podcast . Olivia is a school-based OT, a parent of a child with special needs, and a soon to be licensed marriage and family therapist as she furthers her education to support children with special needs. In this episode, Olivia and I are going to provide updates as to how this year has gone compared to our expectations back in August. We will then dive into some pressing issues like person first versus disability first language, ableism, non-preferred activity goals, how OTs address behavior, and how stress plays a role in behavior. You are going to love these discussions


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OTSH 64 transcript
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Amazing Narrator 00:01

Hello and welcome to the OT schoolhouse podcast, your source for school based occupational therapy tips, interviews and professional development. Now to get the conversation started, here's your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.


Jayson Davies 00:19

Hello OT schoolhouse crew and welcome to Episode 64 of the OT schoolhouse podcast. My name is Jayson Davies and it is a pleasure to be here with you right now. Wherever you are, whatever time of the day or night it might be. Thank you for listening in to this episode. Today we have another special occupational therapy guest on to talk about how she is handling this crazy 2020/2021 school year. And this is actually going to be somewhat of a follow up episode to I believe it was Episode 54 where we talked about plans to start the school year during a pandemic. So today I am welcoming back to the podcast the energetic and passionate Olivia Martinez-Hauge. Olivia is a school based occupational therapist, a parent of a child with special needs and a soon to be licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, as she furthers her education to support children with special needs and just want to give her a quick shout out and nudge I know she's trying to get through her hours that she needs and the pandemic is not helping but she will soon be licensed you will get done with her hours. And she will get there. in this episode, Olivia and I are going to provide updates as to how this year is going as compared to what we kind of thought it might go back in August and September. I'm sure all of you are experiencing differences from what you might have expected to where we are now. After we catch up with Olivia on how the school year is going, we're also going to dive into some pressing issues like using person first versus disability first language ableism non preferred activity goals and how OTS adjust behavior and how stress plays a role in behavior. You are going to love these discussions, I guarantee it, her energy, just like make some topics that can sometimes be a little draining. She just brings the energy in and we have a great time talking about some good stuff. So now before I want to get into this interview with Olivia, I have to reveal a secret with you all. And that is that Olivia is not only a guest on this show, but she is also going to be one of the five guest speakers along with myself at the back to school conference in August that I am preparing right now. At the back to school conference, Olivia will be presenting her topic titled it's not sensory, it's stress. And this presentation she plans to focus on current research on stress and the brain. She's going to help us unpack challenging behaviors and examine why they are occurring, the power of being trauma informed and what we can do about it. This presentation will give you tangible information you can apply to your caseload right now and you will gain knowledge to help you lead IEP teams and meaningful conversations, develop whole team interventions and provide the families with valuable information. And she's going to help us better understand trauma and aces or adverse childhood experiences, chronic stress, the polyvagal theory, top down versus bottom up behaviors, emotional regulation, intervention strategies and more in her two hour engaging discussion. Be sure to check out all the OT schoolhouse back to school conference has to offer and sign up at otschoolhouse.com/backtoschool or grab the registration flyer and ask your employer or district to allow you to attend. I will be announcing the remainder of the speakers for the conference all month long. So stay tuned to emails and the podcast. We have less than six months to go before the conference and I am super excited to interact with all of you in this first ever OT schoolhouse back to school conference. Again, the theme if you don't remember it, I think I mentioned it last time is promoting independence in education. So all the speakers will be talking about how we can make our students as independent as possible in the educational environment they are in. And just one last time remember to check out otschoolhouse.com/backtoschool to learn all that the conference has to offer to you. Alright, so without any further weight or anticipation, please help me to welcome to the show. Olivia Martinez Howdy. Hey, Olivia, welcome to the OT school house podcast. How are you this morning?


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 04:22

Good. Thanks for having me.


Jayson Davies 04:24

Yeah, definitely. You actually were on the podcast once before also in our lives back to school. It was just a video that we talked about.


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 04:33

That's right. That was I feel like that was a year ago, two years ago. And it was only what four or five months ago is a school year.


Jayson Davies 04:41

We got on with a few people and we just talked about what the plans were going forward with COVID


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 04:47

Yeah, that was fun. And also, I don't know, did any of that stuff work? Okay, I was just gonna ask you might have thrown all that stuff out the window and just survive each day. I agree. You know?


Jayson Davies 05:00

Let's start there actually, because you are a school based occupational therapist, we'll get a little bit into your background. But while we're on this, I want to talk about it. Yeah, I think we were talking about how we would do evaluations would kids be coming in? Or would we be doing that on on zoom? How to do treatments where we're going to send packets home? What were we going to do? So, you know what, let's start right there. It is January, something, what have you been doing the last six months for your virtual, whatever it might be therapy sessions,


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 05:30

holy cow. Okay. So it's just, it's been a little of everything. And just in in pure, you know, in our pure OT profession, it's, it seems like, you've got a treatment plan, you've got these ideas. And then you've got to be flexible, and throw those things out the window when they don't work, or, you know, whatever. And so, it's been a little bit of everything. So we send we send home packets, which has been nice to have, you know, tools and things that you know, the student has right off the bat. So you can just say, Hey, take out your potty or take out whatever, this is what we're doing today. So that's been really nice. A lot of a lot of actually push into the class put quote, unquote, push into the classroom, observing the students within their classroom setting on their their Google classroom setting, and then giving the teacher some strategies and some ideas and talking about, you know, what I'm seeing and what I'm observing with the student at home. Yeah, it's just been a lot of different things.


Jayson Davies 06:43

That is great that you bring that up. I have a lot of people asking me on Instagram. So for all of you that have asked me this question on Instagram, I'm going to ask Olivia right now. Always have the answer. But Olivia,


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 06:57

break it down. Uh huh.


Jayson Davies 06:59

How does that specifically look like when you observe a child? I want to know the process of how are you planning for that? And then how do you follow up after you observe a child in the classroom? Because you just said you're kind of observing them in their Google Classroom, their zoom classroom? Yeah. What goes into that process? Are you reaching out to the teacher or the parent beforehand? Or, or walk me through the three or four steps that that takes?


Olivia Martinez-Hauge 07:24

Yeah, so you know, what, you know, what's interesting is I think this COVID thing has really open things wide open in terms of what, what is working and what is not working. And so I'm seeing a lot of students transition from, you know, non COVID times into home, and getting lost and not really knowing what to do. And we get to start to see like, Oh, this kid's really dependent on on a lot of prompts, you know, that we're giving in school. So it's giving us an opportunity to really look at what the kids are, are able to do and what supports they need, and what supports maybe haven't been working the way that we think they're working. Yeah. But OTS are master observers, right? We see everything. And so I just have my little handy dandy Notepad, and I drop into class, and depending on the teacher, depending on the class, I might keep my camera off. Certainly, my microphone off. And, you know, I'm just watching that student, like, how much movement or how much sensory input is that student needing in order to attend and engage in that, in that learning process? Is the student looking at the screen? Are they are they more comfortable not looking at the screen? And so I'm doing a lot of consultation like, hey, let the kid sit on the floor. If he wants to sit on the floor, don't call him back to his seat. That's okay. The main one of the biggest things that it seems to be s