Who is The OT Butterfly?
Hi! I’m Laura. I’m a preschool mom, wife and pediatric OT. I wear all the hats, at all times.
I was hired by my fieldwork level II placement at a pediatric sensory integration treatment clinic and remained there for close to 5 years until I relocated for my husband’s dream job (can you say BEST WIFE EVER?).
Then, Corona Virus hit and shook the world. Nowadays, you can find me spending a much time at home (away from germs!) finding low prep (this mama is always tired) ways to entertain an almost-5-year-old for longer than 20 minutes.
I’m an enneagram 6, so my brain is constantly moving. My OT lenses never turn off and I can’t “un-see” activity analysis in every environment I’m in. I love taking what I see and creating content to share with other therapists, educators, and parents.
I want to shift the mindset away debates like “is it sensory or is it behavior” because I believe that sensory responses are a form of behavior. I believe there is a huge misunderstanding of the implications of sensory processing and how it can impact our everyday lives, especially how little minds learn.
I also channel all my energy into creating no/low prep OT resources (on teachers pay teachers) and activities for other therapists to use in their practice.
What does The OT Butterfly mean?
This name was born late one night while I was uploading some resources I made to the teachers pay teachers website. It asked for a store name. I went through a handful of tongue-in-cheek, rhyming store names that were cute, but just didn’t sound like “me”. Then it came to me: The OT Butterfly. Why?
A butterfly has so much meaning to me personally, especially within my family. My grandmother (shout out to Miss Philippines 1951!!) loved butterflies. She named her businesses and restaurants with butterflies in mind and her home decor and fashion sense was never shy of a handful of butterflies. After my grandmother’s recent passing, I just had butterflies on my mind. Apparently, my toddler did too as she suddenly took an interest in pointing out all the butterflies everywhere!
To me, butterflies are so symbolic in their metamorphosis from a hungry caterpillar to the elegant, delicate, beautiful winged creature. This transformation reminds me of how the process is in working with my OT clients, who have a range of developmental delays. They start off requiring a lot of support and attention to help nourish their developmental needs. Then I focus on teaching them skills and tools to foster independence. Finally, they become confident in their skills and abilities and leave the clinic as beautiful, daring, independent butterflies.
My educational background
I got my B.S. from UC San Diego (Go Tritons!) in 2010 with a degree in Neuropsychology. I fell in love with all things neuro my senior year of college and wanted to go into grad school to get my Ph.D. in Neuropsychology.
For 2+ years I worked for UCSD V.A. System as a research project manager for a Bipolar and Schizophrenia lab. While I was applying to grad school, I had a random change of heart and decided… research is great, but man do I hate writing papers! In this mini life-crisis, my boss at the time told me about Occupational Therapy (his wife was an OT!) and as soon as I found out that an OT didn’t mean finding people jobs, and realized that I could work in health sciences without another 4 year school, I was hooked.
It was all down hill from there!
I graduated from San Jose State in 2015 with my Masters in Occupational Therapy and since then, I’ve been hooked. I fall in love with this field more and more everyday.