The Inspiration Behind My New Business Ventures
Meet Ivan. He’s an amazing little 5 year old boy who has the pleasure of having one of my best friends, Jestine, as his mom (and I have the pleasure of being his "Auntie Whitney"). About two years ago he was having a hard time with attention/focus, staying seated, tantrums/meltdowns, behavioral issues, etc. When I was home for Christmas that year and saw what was going on, I told Jestine to look into occupational therapy for sensory processing. She immediately got Ivan started and within a few months was seeing so much improvement in his sensory processing/regulation, and many of his previous issues had subsided.
Throughout the process Jestine kept me posted on Ivan's progress and was SO amazing with following through with any and all recommendations that his OT and I would give her, but she still felt like there was more she could do. Jestine noticed that Ivan's absolute best days were the one day a week that started with OT, and she wanted a solution of how this could be a daily thing, so she could carryover this success into her family's daily life.
Being the amazing mom that she is, Jestine asked me if I could help her with ideas on how to redo her basement into an OT gym. So for Christmas last year, Ivan got his very own OT sensory gym and fine motor room! There’s a large room (sensory gym) with a trampoline, Lycra swing, tunnel, scooter board, and a homemade crash pad (pillows sewn inside of a sheet - SO much cheaper than buying one), and more. Then she turned a smaller room into the fine motor/sensory room with sensory bins, tactile play, and fine motor skill building activities.
After just a few weeks Jestine said that not only is Ivan a new kid but the entire dynamic of their family is different! Ivan is constantly found downstairs in the basement enjoying his sensory gym or even playing in the fine motor room, and this is coming from a boy who never wanted to participate in fine motor tasks. Seeing this success was so inspirational to me, and I wondered how I could help EVERY child/family succeed in this way.
Jestine is CONSTANTLY following through on recommendations I give her for new sensory input, fine motor tasks, pre-K skills, etc. and the results are so amazing to see. But it got me thinking (and asking), why is she able to follow through while some parents aren't? What makes it so a parent is able to complete given recommendations, and what barriers get in the way? More importantly, what can I do to help every child and family succeed? Luckily I have the benefit of having LOTS of friends with young children who have helped me over the last few months to understand better what it is that parents really want. And the one answer I get from everyone: SIMPLE! What parents don't have extra of is TIME! It wasn't money, resources, knowledge, or other factors that get in the way, it's simply time.
So thanks to Jestine and Ivan I have set off on a mission to give parents information, handouts, activities, and tools that are free/inexpensive, simple, not time-consuming, and most importantly, beneficial in helping children to grow, learn, and succeed. Stay tuned for all the exciting things to come!