“Do with, not for” has always been the guiding principle of occupational therapy, and I have wholeheartedly embraced this approach from the very beginning. When I was given the chance to join The Global Autism Project on a journey, I eagerly accepted, knowing that our shared values align perfectly. I must confess that in the presence of a strong ABA influence, I was determined to bring a fresh perspective and make it different from what I had observed in the United States.
To get a deeper insight into my incredible experiences in Rwanda, I invite you to listen to my captivating interview on the Moxie OT podcast. Simply click on the image to be directed to the interview. Equally awe-inspiring was my time in India, where I had the privilege of witnessing astonishing programs in action. I urge you to revisit my thought-provoking blog post titled “I’m Pissed” and uncover a whole new perspective.
When I traveled abroad, I always admired the dedication of professionals in their respective fields. Each time I returned, however, I found it increasingly challenging to readjust to my regular routine. One day, while teaching a preschool yoga class, a student joined with a behavior technician. The technician seemed uneasy with not offering constant assistance, so she began physically guiding the child’s movements without prior explanation. Unfortunately, this unexpected action agitated the child, causing them to become distressed and flee from the yoga mat. As expected, the blame was unfairly placed on the activity itself. Insert eye roll emoji.
I enthusiastically embrace the idea of embarking on body autonomy training. Let’s veer away from the practice of providing hand over hand guidance. Remember, it’s not about achieving perfection, but rather about active participation. Lead by example and demonstrate what you expect from your students. Instead of doing things for them, let’s encourage a “do with” approach. Together, we can create a successful and empowering learning experience.