OTSH 78: Writing Easier With the Legiliner With Polly Benson, OTR/L




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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 78 of the OT School House Podcast.


Today we are talking with school-based OT and creator of the popular LegiLiner tool, Polly Benson, OTR/L.


After years of drawing lines on paper for kids and trying to convince teachers to do the same for kids in classrooms, Polly took action in her own hands to create the LegiLiner tool back in 2019.


With more than a dozen varied rolling stamps that instantly create lines for kids to write on, Polly is changing how teachers and therapists adapt writing assignments one classroom at a time.


Be sure to check out this episode to hear the story of how the Legiliner came to be and how it may help you and the kids you serve!



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Amazing Narrator

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


Jayson Davies

Hey everyone, and welcome to the OT School House podcast. My name is Jayson Davies, and I'm so happy to have you here today. Today we have a very special occupational therapy guest. She is a school-based OT and she's also an entrepreneur. And she has used much of what she learned as a school-based OT to create her own product. Many of you have probably already heard of the Legiliner. Well, today we're going to talk with Polly Benson, who is the creator of the Legiliner. She's only been doing this for about two years. But as you have probably seen, it is just an amazing product. And she is selling out of them. They are so great. They help you to create lines on paper in a fraction of the time that you could with a ruler and a pencil as she talks about in just a little bit. So without any further ado, we're just going to jump right into it. Here is Polly Benson of the Legiliner. Hey, Polly, welcome to the OT School House podcast. How are you doing today?


Polly Benson

I'm good. Thank you for having me.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, thank you so much for coming on. We actually met not too long ago at a St. Augustine entrepreneur, well it wasn't an entrepreneur class but in an AT class, if I remember right, is that correct?


Polly Benson

I've done both. So it could be either one but a grouping of OTs and businesses to talk to students about how they got started on the entrepreneur side.


Jayson Davies

Yes. And actually Joe friendly, of friendly shoes was in there with us. And he's gonna be on a podcast episode with me as well. So great, great opportunity to meet new people, new occupational therapy entrepreneurs. It's fun to do that.


Polly Benson

Yes, for sure. Yeah.


Jayson Davies

So let's go ahead and get started with a little bit about you. Would you mind sharing with us a little bit about your career as an occupational therapist?


Polly Benson

Okay, sure. So I have been practicing for over 30 years now. I went to Ohio State University. And I started off and work hardening work conditioning, kind of moved into some home health when my kids were born. And then eventually I did some inpatient rehab. And then most recently, the past 15 years I've been in school-based OT.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. You know, I want to ask you a question, because I don't think work hardening and work conditioning is really a term that's used that much right now. And...


Polly Benson

Yeah


Jayson Davies

Like, I don't hear OTs being in that role. So what was that like?


Polly Benson

So that was where I worked in a clinic. And we had clients that had been hurt on the job. And we helped to rehab them back to their job. So a lot of what I did in that job was job simulation, and trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between "Okay, this person's in rehab, and they're rehabbing their arm injury or leg injury or back injury, and then they have to go back to the job." And you can't just jump right back into eight hours of work. A lot of what we had was like a truck driver, and you can't just go sit in a truck for eight hours and not expect to be hurting. So we would work on two hours a day with these clients that would come in five days a week, and then we bump it up to four hours a day. And then we did lunch breaks, and we get them out to about six hours. And then they were discharged from our program.


Jayson Davies

Oh, wow. Talk about an occupation base. Like that's exactly what we do. Awesome. Love it.


Polly Benson

It was so fun and being creative because I had to problem solve, how can I, you know, replicate driving and holding your arms up on a steering wheel or the bounce of the impact of a chair or, you know, sometimes we would have a forklift driver. Well, that's extremely hard to replicate. But I could get to a local company and work out a deal where we actually borrowed a forklift, and he would drive it in our back parking lot, you know, and we got some empty crates the skids. And he would move them from one end to the other. So just like where you're moving weights, and you're working on carrying milk crates and helping these clients to become stronger. We did it with big equipment, too. We just had an opportunity to be creative and problem solve and something I've always enjoyed.


Jayson Davies

Wow, that sounds really, really fun.


Polly Benson

Yeah,


Jayson Davies

it just reminds me of the last physical attitude before getting my last job. I had to go win and they had to, I had to lift up like a 50 pound.


Polly Benson

Uh-huh.


Jayson Davies

I don't know the cart. I was like, Why do I have to do this, but whatever. I guess we work with kids, and they want to make sure that we're not going to hurt ourselves if we pick up. I don't know how old How old is the kid before they go over 50 pounds in second grade, maybe? I don't know. Very true. Very true. So that was kind of where you started, but obviously, you did end up in the schools. Tell us a little bit about your school-based OT career. Maybe some of your preferred parts of it. And maybe some of the difficult times?


Polly Benson

Well, initially, I wanted to get into the school system because I had young children. So I wanted to, you know, pursue having a similar schedule, similar days off, similar vacation schedules, things like that. And so I had a company I had been working outpatient OT and what I was doing for them was actually functional capacity evaluations. And sometimes I would go to the job site and help to modify a job site like if someone had a computer workstation, I might recommend equipment for them. So within that same company, I would like to start doing some schools. And she had a couple of school contracts that were coming open with a severe to profound school. So a lot of p