Thank you for asking "Who is OT Mom?"
Greetings from South Africa! I’m Tracey le Roux, a homeschooling mom with a background of pediatric occupational therapy (OT).
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.
André and I married in 1998. and we have 3 awesome kids - 2 boys and a girl - born in 2002, 2005 and 2007.
After relocating to Hermanus in 2003, I "retired" from Occupational Therapy to focus on being a wife, mom, and pastor's wife. So I am not currently working in a formal occupational therapy setting.
In 2006 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 designed and implemented a basic enrichment programme for Grade 1 learners who are struggling with school skills because of their impoverished backgrounds.
Through this work 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 activities have thus been developed from inexpensive everyday materials.
I have also been involved in 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.
The scope of the Enrichment Program has grown so that there are now 3 other team members who implement the program in the local schools, while I have become a consultant to the project instead of running it on the ground.
This has given me the opportunity to focus on homeschooling our 3 precious children! I can honestly say that it has been the best decision we have ever made for our family! It is 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!
I had plenty of opportunity to put my OT training into practice with our children, who have, between them, challenges with sensory processing (sensory over-responsiveness, sensory seeking, and sensory based motor disorder), fine motor delays, and visual and auditory processing delays.
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!
My website grew out of two passions - wanting to help children (and empower their parents to help them) and wanting to be at home with my own kids. Building this website enabled me to do both. I share my website building story over here, if you're interested!
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 hearing impairment 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 giving my heart and life to the Lord in 1991, He was my inspiration and my strength. John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [abundantly]” and Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength”. And so it was that I studied OT and came to have a passion for helping children.
And beyond my wildest dreams, I have recently (2015 and 2016) received cochlear implants - 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!
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