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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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November 1, 2016

Classes What are OS/OT?

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Hey everyone!

I apologize for being offline for a while — things have been so busy this semester with midterms and events! I wanted to update you all about another one of the awesome resources we have here at USC — our pediatric therapy gym! We are so lucky to have the equipment and resources to be able to practice what we’re learning in an interactive, hands-on way.

A few weeks ago we had our Sensory Integration lecture and lab, where we got to learn about the theory behind Sensory Integration therapy and interventions we could use during treatment. For those of you who don’t know what Sensory Integration therapy is, it is both a theory and intervention based on USC alum’s Jean Ayres’ work. It focuses on how a child’s body integrates sensory information (vestibular, proprioceptive, and tactile) in order to navigate their environment effectively. Through Sensory Integration therapy, the goal is to facilitate an adaptive response, which is a successful goal-oriented action on the environment. For some children with sensory issues, their bodies and brains may not be integrating the sensory information from their environment effectively or efficiently, which can affect a child’s ability to participate in their occupations, such as play.

This is what I love about OT — what looks like “play” is so much more complex and layered than what it seems. And as OTs, we can use play as a means and ends in our treatment sessions with children, since play is one of their main occupations!

Here are some photos from our Sensory Integration lab, where we actually got to jump on all of the equipment and try it out for ourselves! Doesn’t it look like hard work?

Photo of students playing in a ball pit

Having a ball!

Photo of student rolling in equipment in SI therapy gym

Just rolling through life

Photo of students providing deep pressure to another student

Feeling the (deep) pressure of OT school

Photo of students using equipment in pediatric therapy gym

Hanging out