I fell in love with Riley's occupational therapist the second I laid eyes on him. First of all, he's gorgeous. Blond hair. Hazel eyes.
But it's the way he motivates her that charms me. She'll do things for him she would never do for me. The day he convinced her to climb the steps to a big metal slide was astounding. As I watched her go down I stood there wondering, How'd he do that?
Part of it is the fact that he makes therapy fun. She laughs as he works on her proprioception, rolling her across a trampoline like a log, giving her input as to where her body is in space.
He works on increasing her grip strength by holding toys in his hands and getting her to pull them away from him.
He challenges her depth perception by taking her outside and encouraging her to walk down a big grassy hill sideways. She follows everything he does.
Today he used a hula-hoop. Together they got in the middle of it, and then he turned away from her and started to walk. The hoop was around her back and she had to follow him as he increased and decreased his speed. This was great fun and also helped her work on balance and movement.
After that, he told her to turn around and they both walked in place, in opposite directions, hoop to stomachs. They had to kind of balance there in space in order to not topple over. Riley laughed the whole time. Later, there was more grip work as she held the hoop and he tried repeatedly to pull it from her.
Our insurance company refuses to cover Riley's occupational therapy, but luckily this guy is cheap. True, he sometimes shows up wearing nothing but his Wiggles underpants, but for all he does for her, we let that slide.
His name is Seth O'Neil and he's worth every dime we're paying him.