Hi! Thank you for asking "Who is OT Mom?" Here's a bit more about me!
I’m Tracey le Roux, a homeschooling mom of 3 with a background of pediatric occupational therapy. Greetings from Hermanus, South Africa, which is where I reside with my beloved family!
I studied Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town,
graduated with my BSc in OT in 1997, and completed my postgrad studies in Sensory
Integration in 2001.
In my early OT years, I was part of a thriving Occupational Therapy Private Practice for children in Cape Town, where much of my work focused particularly on Learning Disabilities and Sensory Processing Disorders. As part of our practice, I was involved in 2 local schools where we treated learners on the school premises.
A few years after relocating to Hermanus, I became involved on a part-time basis with Enlighten Education Trust, an NGO whose aim is to uplift and support the local schools, many of which are struggling with a lack of resources.
I worked a couple mornings a week, helping disadvantaged first grade kids to develop the skills they needed for school.
I started running training workshops for teachers in order to give them activities they can use in their classrooms to develop gross motor skills, fine motor skills, visual perceptual skills, and more.
After a few years in the trenches, I trained a
team of motivated facilitators who are continuing this work at various local
schools, working with kindergarten and early elementary learners. I am now an occasional consultant for the project, which enables me to focus on homeschooling my own kids for this season.
Through my work in the local communities, I have become passionate about empowering parents to help their children develop the foundation skills they need for school. The challenge has been to do this in an environment where few funds are available, and many of my OT Mom activities have thus been developed from inexpensive everyday materials.
I have been happily married to my hubby, André, since 1998 and we have 3 awesome kids - 2 boys and a girl - born in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
Over the years we have had a couple of other kids in and out of our home as we supported them through specific times in their lives, so my life has always been pretty full of kids, and I've loved it!
I had plenty of opportunity to put my OT training into practice on the home front while homeschooling our three children, who have experienced various different learning challenges between them.
As a result, OT Mom Learning Activities is full of practical ideas that you can use to help your child at home. Tried and tested!
Homeschooling has been a massive privilege and we are very grateful for the opportunity we have had to invest in our kids' lives in this season.
We have made lots of memories along the way!
It has been, and is still, challenging, and I am constantly being stretched out
of my comfort zone, but the Lord is gracious in meeting our every need,
be it physical, emotional, spiritual or mental!
And now that we are nearing the end of the homeschooling journey,
I am excited to see how OT Mom Learning Activities can grow and expand as I get more time to spend on creating, building and sharing! And hopefully I will never stop finding opportunities to give back to to kids in our local community.
My passion for supporting parents to help their own kids started with my work in local schools, and I was challenged to come up with activities that can easily be done by families in impoverished communities.
Not all the activities on my website fall into that category, as I do sometimes suggest making use of therapy-type products, but on the whole, I try to make activities “doable” for parents who have a tight budget and little time. Parents like me!
I completely understand how challenging it can be to have a child who has special learning needs, and who struggles with things that other kids don’t struggle with. I also completely understand how challenging it is to fit therapies into a tight budget and into a week, not to mention getting homework done as well.
That is why I try to keep my website and e-book activities simple and achievable.
Building this website has enabled me to stay at home with my children and yet still help other parents and kids - from all around the world, which is incredibly exciting!
I am a very normal occupational therapist, and I started my website purely to help parents and teachers to better understand the issues that kids may struggle with when they start school, and to equip those parents and teachers with activities to promote normal development in order to give kids the best possible start in formal schooling.
So I have tried to write my website pages in a way that is accessible and easy for parents and teachers to understand. My passion is to help kids by empowering the adults in their lives to help them.
The information I have put on my website is there to inform and inspire based on my own experience, my own observations as well as training and discussions with fellow therapists over the years.
I attempt to keep up with current research
and publications, and I try and include relevant references where possible.
When I was formally working as an occupational therapist, every therapy session was planned with the needs of that particular child in mind. There was no one-size-fits-all approach to therapy.
Over the years, some activities became my go-to favorites to help develop particular skills, and it is these kinds of activities that I attempt to share with parents and teachers on my website and in my e-books.
While I am encouraged by students and therapists who contact me to let me know that my information is helpful in their OT training, my primary purpose in writing is for parents and teachers. I am always honored and delighted when someone links to my website or references it in some way!
I am delighted that you are here, and I trust that my activities and information will be useful to help a child that you are involved with.
I could not write this page without a reference to the Lord Jesus, who has given me life and hope in Him. I have a severe to profound hearing loss, was dependent on lipreading and was told as a child that I would not be able to work with people (my early dream was to be a doctor), and that I should go into research or work with books. My heart was crushed as I always wanted to help people.
After accepting Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1991, He became my inspiration and my strength. John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [abundantly]”.
And so it was that I studied OT and came to have a passion for helping children.
And beyond my wildest dreams, I received cochlear implants in 2015 and 2016! The whole hearing journey has been amazing and soooo inspiring. I will hopefully share a page here soon about the whole experience!
I give God all the glory for what He has done in my life, and for enabling this website to happen!
I trust and pray that you will be encouraged as you strive to help the children in your life!
Growing out of my work in the local communities around Hermanus, I have compiled these handouts to help parents understand how fine motor, gross motor and visual perception skills can affect a child's learning, and to point parents in the right direction to help their child.
I have made them available for free to my newsletter subscribers - so sign up to get your freebies and to hear from me on a regular basis!
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