OTSH 87: Fostering Safe & Regulating Environments in the Classroom with Dr. Jamie Chaves, OTD, OTR/L


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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 87 of the OT Schoolhouse Podcast.


School-based occupational therapists wear many hats. Sometimes we treat students individually and other times we have to train the teachers in ways they can support students in the classroom.


Today, we are focusing on supporting teachers in fostering safe and regulating environments in the classroom for students with sensory differences.


Joining me today to discuss this topic is Dr. Jamie Chaves, OTD, OTR/L, SWC. Dr. Chaves is a pediatric occupational therapist and is also the OT Division Leader at the Center For Connection. Along with co-author, Ashley Taylor, Psy.D., Dr. Chaves has written two books to support therapists and educators working with students who have sensory differences.


You can find both books on Amazon. They are titled “The Why Behind Behaviors” and “Creating Sensory Smart Classrooms


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Transcript

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OTSH 87_ Fostering Safe & Regulating Environments in the Classroom with Dr
. Jamie Chaves,
Download JAMIE CHAVES, • 190KB

Jayson Davies

Hey, everyone, welcome to the OT Schoolhouse podcast. Thank you for being here really appreciate you being here to listen to this episode of the OT Schoolhouse podcast. And for just being a part of the OT Schoolhouse community. I can't believe that we are almost to the end of 2021. 2020 and 2021 have just gone by so quickly and well, things are changing so much right now within the world. We've got so much going on. And I am just so happy that you have decided to spend a part of your day with me and Dr. Jamie Chaves, who we are having on the podcast today. Dr. Jamie Chaves is a doctor of occupational therapy. She is also a licensed occupational therapist and she actually has a few different roles. So I want to share those with you. She works at the Center for Connection in Pasadena, California. And she is also the author of two books with her colleague, Ashley Taylor, who we will talk about a little bit later as well. The two books that she has written or co-written with Ashley are Creating Sensory Smart Classrooms and The WHY Behind Behaviors. We're actually going to dive into both of those books a little bit today, or at least the contents of those. This is definitely not a sales pitch for the books. But there is a lot of great information from those books that come out in this podcast episode. This interview with Jamie is such a great interviewer, you're going to learn so much about sensory processing, sensory integration, and really fostering safe environments within the classroom. And I cannot wait for you to hear it. So go ahead, put those phones in your pocket. Turn the speakers, put those headphones in to start your jog or your workout, whatever you're doing, driving, and enjoy this episode with myself and Dr. Jamie Chaves. Hey, Jamie, welcome to the OT Schoolhouse podcast. How are you doing this morning?


Dr. Jamie Chaves

I'm doing really well. Thank you. Thanks for having me.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, definitely. I'm excited you have a book out, actually, you have two books out. We're talking about one today creating sensory smart classrooms. And that was written by yourself as well as Ashley Taylor. And I do want to allow you to give a moment to give a shout-out to Ashley and talk a little bit about her as well. But first, I want to ask you about your career as an occupational therapist and just share a little bit of background about yourself.


Dr. Jamie Chaves

Sure, I've been an occupational therapist for nine years now. And I kind of stumbled upon the profession when I was in undergrad and just fell more and more in love with it as I went through grad school, which is always a good thing. I wasn't backpedaling. And I've always been really passionate about children. And one of the areas of research I spent a lot of time on in grad school was children and orphanage-like settings. And as I was doing that research, so much was coming up about sensory and motor development and how those things are impacted in orphanages and foster homes and when a child is adopted, and so that got me down the rabbit hole of sensory processing and sensory integration. And my first job was in a clinic with kids of varying developmental needs. And there were a lot of sensory-motor needs. And so I just continued to learn more and more about it. And that's my area of specialty now is sensory integration.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. And so you actually do have your doctorate in OT, what was that experience? Like? Did you focus specifically on kids in the orphanage? Is that kind of where you went or sensory integration or what?


Dr. Jamie Chaves

Yes, my doctoral project was all on looking at the occupation and the occupational performance factors in orphanage-like settings, and I actually did my four-month apprenticeship at an orphanage in Romania.


Jayson Davies

Oh, wow.


Dr. Jamie Chaves

And work with caregivers who were at that orphanage.


Jayson Davies

Wow, that must have been an amazing definitely outside-of-the-box experience.


Dr. Jamie Chaves

It was one of the most challenging things I've done and also one of the richest learning experiences I've had as well.


Jayson Davies

And in Romania, then is occupational therapy, even really a thing out there. I know as far as I don't know, I talk to people outside of the country, and like occupational therapy isn't even a profession in some countries. So in Romania, is it a profession, is it something is it similar but called something different? Or? Yeah,


Dr. Jamie Chaves

There is a profession called occupational therapy, and it shares the same name. But I would say they're about 50 years behind where the United States is. So they're still doing a lot of those like craft-based, leather-based, like leatherworking. Yeah, like a lot of those types of occupational therapy, tactics, and they aren't really a well-recognized profession. And you don't really have to have a degree to get into the profession. It's more of like an associate's degree level. At least it was 10 years ago, I'm not exactly sure how it's progressed. Since then, I haven't really kept up to date on that. And pediatric occupational therapy was pretty much non-existent. It was all working with adults with mental and developmental disabilities.


Jayson Davies

Gotcha. Okay, that was gonna be my next question. Because historically, you know, occupational therapy in America really seems like it developed based upon a rehabilitative model. You know, after World War One, it was really working with armed services, right, or people that were coming back and were injured in OT was helping them to rehabilitate and get back to, "normal life". So I was wondering how that would look like in Romania. So it's mostly mental health and a little bit of rehabilitation.


Dr. Jamie Chaves

Yes. And it's very much. It's not an integrative thing. It's not trying to integrate people back into society or back into their families. It's like these. They're basically outcasts. And they, there's these occupational therapists who are working with these people who are who would otherwise be unsupported and not really seen as contributors to society or participants in society.


Jayson Davies

Yeah, very different.