By: Sabrina Adair, M.Sc. OT Reg. (Ont.)
CEO/Founder Enabling Adaptations
Have you ever watched a movie you thought was amazing, only to find out the person you went with didn’t like it?
Did you ever try a new food that you didn’t like and discovered that others thought it was incredible?
The way each of us experiences the world is so unique and different.
That is what makes this world an interesting place. Each person has their own history, the ways they were brought up, and their experiences that formed their being. On top of that, our brain also processes the world in its own way. That is why some foods taste better than others, some images are more calming than others, and certain music more pleasing than others.
The way we experience the world is through our sensory systems.
This has formed the story of who we are. Our story influences the choices that we make, the way we interact with the world, and often creates the passion behind our endeavors. The challenge is that often others don’t know our story. They can make judgments about our choices or behaviors based on their own story. This is how others can misunderstand us.
Have you ever felt misunderstood?
Children often feel misunderstood. As an occupational therapist working with children, I have seen firsthand how children are misunderstood for their behaviours, fears, or anxiety. They are labeled when they don’t fit into the norm of the world’s expectations.
Children often can’t put language or a voice to how they feel or what makes them unique. Instead, children are disciplined for their behaviors and ostracized for their unique ways of navigating what the world is trying to offer. They are criticized for how they perceive the world or their emotions and will be told, “This isn’t hard” or “You’re just too sensitive.”
As an occupational therapist and mom of 4, I wanted to create a voice for these children by empowering those around them to understand what makes each child unique and how to support them best. I pivoted my company from seeing children one on one to creating a company designed to support parents and caregivers to understand what makes their child unique, discover or identify strategies that work to help them in their environment, and most importantly learn to communicate this to others.
I want to empower parents to share their child’s story and create a community around a child that can help them reach their greatest potential.
Around the province, children wait years for services to help them learn what makes them unique and to be able to get the help they need both in school and at home. Children should not have to wait years, they should be supported throughout their journey. This often begins with understanding their story and what makes them who they are.