On the 1st of May, countries worldwide celebrated Worker’s Day. This public holiday was first introduced in 1891 and South Africa has been joining in since 1994. This annual “day off”, also known as May Day, serves as a celebration of workers’ rights. I am yet to find a labourer or employee who disagrees with the importance of this well-deserved holiday.  I hope you enjoyed your day off yesterday!

 

Worker’s Day applies to schools as well, as teachers and teaching staff most definitely deserve this welcoming duty-free day. And yet, when we think of all the school-going children partaking in Workers’ Day celebrations, it’s sometimes difficult to justify how they may also benefit from a celebration clearly singled out for the workforce? Kids just play every day, don’t they??? Maybe our thinking towards little humans is somewhat unfair?

 

I have found clarity for this dilemma in the essence of my work: Occupational Therapy.  I wish I had a cent for every time I’ve heard the words “So, do you find jobs for people?” when someone discovers what my profession is. The real meaning of Occupational Therapy (OT) appears to be quite a mystery to some. So, let’s shed some (much needed) light on the subject and find how it could possibly link up with Workers’ Day for kids:

 

According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, occupations are various kinds of life activities in which individuals engage, including:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Rest and sleep
  • Education
  • Work
  • Play
  • Leisure
  • Social participation

 

A young child’s profession is to PLAY … an older child’s is to be EDUCATED. Just as we, as working adults, leave our homes in the morning to go do our day’s work, our children go to school to practice their profession – LEARNING & GROWING. For some children, their work is a piece of cake; for some… not! And that is where OT’s come in: we strive to guide and help our little clients to reach their full potential in all occupational areas they might have.

 

As OT’s working at Sensory Intelligence®️ Consulting, we aim to enhance children’s LEARNING & GROWING by empowering teachers and parents to implement practical, effective, easy-to-use sensory strategies with the purpose of enabling all children to develop into well-adapted, positive and healthy individuals. We strive to ensure optimal development for all learners by assisting teachers and parents.

 

Our focus areas, when it comes to education, include (but are not limited to):

  • How teachers can manage their own stress effectively
    Discovering their own sensory thresholds, creating self-awareness and identifying strategies to manage overload and stress better according to their unique profiles.
  • How to unlock learner potential
    Identifying learners’ sensory thresholds and applying simple, effective sensory strategies to optimize their learning experience.
  • How to change the classroom environment for optimal learning
    Practical, cost-effective ideas to enhance layout, seating and space in a classroom
  • How to deal with stress in learners
    Identifying sensory strategies that educators and parents can teach their learners with the aim of self-regulation when anxious and stressed
  • How sensory play improves development and learning
    Preparing children for optimal learning by addressing their sensory needs during developmental phases
  • How to help learners concentrate in the classroom
    Sensory strategies to enhance focussed attention and a sense of calm  
  • How to reduce barriers to learning
    Insights and sensory tips to help children who learn in a different way
  • How to cope with the sensory side to Autism
    Sensory strategies to optimize a child with Autism’s learning and living

 

A child’s play is a child’s work, which is essential for their preparation for the world awaiting them as adults. We should help them play (learn, work, grow) as well as they can.

 

I really hope you enjoyed the day off yesterday and if you have kids, I hope you enjoyed a day full of play with them, because after all:

 

The end of labour is to gain leisure – Aristotle

 

To find out more about other services we offer at Sensory Intelligence® Consulting, read our latest blog Calm down and call your Sensory Intelligence® OT

 

Written by Marieta du Toit, a qualified Occupational Therapist with an interest in sensory integration, neurology and human behaviour in the modern world. She is based in St Francis Bay, where she manages her school-based practice dealing with children, parents, teachers, principals and health profession colleagues. Marieta is an online coach, regular blogger and is our Eastern Cape Events Co-ordinator.

 

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