Imagine a large Expo in a convention center full of companies promoting their gadgets and publications. Picture thousands of faces flushed with enthusiasm and wonder. Now visualize an emotionally lost and lonely woman rooming aimlessly and suddenly being brought back to life like a classic movie restored to full color. That was me six years ago when I attended the American Occupational Therapy Association’s annual conference. I was a therapist on the brink of burnout and had just rediscovered the joy I felt when I first decided on my future career at just 17 years old. In the years preceding, I was struggling working in a clinic where I felt stifled by the restrictions of insurance companies and the way patients were sandwiched between each other. I felt the frustration of parents desperate to help their children, but I didn’t feel like I could do much to change the healthcare or education systems causing such dismay.
On that day at the Expo, however, I had an epiphany that shifted my perspective. The high that the therapists receive when they gain new knowledge and discover new toys and tools to use with their patients shouldn’t be exclusive to them. Parents could also have this feeling if they just had access and better communication with therapists. The inspiration and purpose I was seeking was right in front of me all along. I just needed a reminder that if I adapted the way I was offering solutions to parents, they could be empowered to help their children better achieve powerful results. Hence, Playapy was created to foster this communication on a broader scale with an effort to engage with parents through new products and online in the virtual world.
This year, in an effort to bring more video content to you, I have created a new YouTube series called Amy’s Affirmations. It is my opportunity to share with you words of encouragement, tips, suggestions, and more. I have already contributed several weeks of episodes for you to check out and share. Subscribe to the Playapy YouTube channel now to receive notice of the weekly posts, and stay tuned in for more offerings over the course of the coming months.
I thank all of you wonderful parents that inspire me to continue of this journey and helping me to realize my purpose. My passion for helping children comes with great responsibility to deliver accurate and insightful information, and I hope you all find it helpful week after week. Have a playful day!
Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L
Amy Baez is a pediatric occupational therapist, author, and founder of Playapy. For more information about Playapy and its award-winning PALS Handwriting Program, visit www.playapy.com or email email@example.com.