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Being sensational: A clinician’s perspective Chris Everdell I am an occupational thera- James Bond). I sit near the back so that the fast visual pist, I am married, I have input doesn’t make me sick to my stomach and I chew a family, I have two dogs, I gum. I enjoy the movie, I feel okay, and I haven’t really am a Canadian. I look and bothered anyone else with my coping techniques. act “normal”. But per- This stuff works for me. I don’t want my poor pro- fume makes me sick, loud cessing skills to stop me from enjoying life. Convinc- sounds distract me, and ing other people that my strategies are okay and that quick movement makes me they are part of me is the challenge. Without these dizzy. These are some of the strategies I would become very sick. It is devastat- many little issues that drive ing to my health to let these sensations take over my me crazy on any given day. body. On the outside, people see a person who doesn’t About the author – Chris Everdell , BSc, OT Most people think I am just look like she has anything wrong with her. So do I re- Reg(ON), is an occupation- “quirky” because my little ally need all of these relatively simple solutions and al therapist who has been issues don’t stop me from strategies? You bet I do! Thank goodness I spend my working with children for leading a very full and joyful days working in a therapy clinic that focuses on such 26 years, with the last 15 life. That’s what I used to things. It is where I belong: working with children in private practice. In her experience, each of us think too. I couldn’t under- who are wonderful human beings but who need faces sensory challenges stand why I couldn’t handle some help tolerating the world around them and on a daily basis and our something when the people convincing the world that they need some help with enjoyment of life is de- around me could. I can’t it. They are not spoiled children whose parents have pendent on the little cop- begin to describe how I feel let behaviours get out of hand, which is often implied ing strategies we develop. when I am eating a really by those who don’t understand sensory processing, She enjoys exploring sensation from a clinical lovely meal, in a really lovely especially when it isn’t working well. These children perspective and passing restaurant, with my really often don’t look any different from their peers, but on these strategies to lovely husband, and all of a they work so hard trying to be like their peers that the anyone (friends, family, sudden I am enveloped in adult perception is one of poor behaviour. strangers... you name it!) a clo
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