By: Laura Petix, MS OTR/LEPISODE 104


My daughter Liliana loves making appearances on my podcast and delights in answering kids’ questions about neurodiversity! She surprises me everyday, and I knew that her amazing, empathetic, caring personality would shine in this episode. Thank you to my Instagram family for submitting these great questions!

Listen to the episode to hear my mini-OT’s advice for your kids!

What you’ll hear in this episode:


Thank you again to my Instagram family for submitting these great questions! Here are the questions Liliana answered for you all.

Listen to the episode to hear Liliana’s sweet answers.

Episode Links

Advice from a 6 year old: Q&A with Liliana
Liliana 0:00 So if you are having a hard time to go to sleep, try to close your eyes and think of your favorite plays or like what your favorite thing is to do. Like, like, and then you close, and you're still closing your eyes and thinking about that. And then that becomes a...

Liliana 0:00 So if you are having a hard time to go to sleep, try to close your eyes and think of your favorite plays or like what your favorite thing is to do. Like, like, and then you close, and you’re still closing your eyes and thinking about that. And then that becomes a dream. And then your brain starts to tell you a story about that place. And then, and then it will, and then you’ll just fall asleep like it’s your dream. Speaker 1 0:34 Welcome to the sensory wise solutions podcast for parents, where parents can get real actionable strategies to support kids with sensory processing disorder. I’m Laura, OT and mom to Lilyana a sensory sensitive kid who inherited my anxiety and my love for all things Disney. Consider me your new ot mom, bestie. I know my stuff. But I also know what it’s really like in the trenches of parenting a child with sensory processing disorder. Liliana 1:03 Okay, mom, enough about me. Let’s try the podcast. Laura Petix 1:10 Hey, everyone, welcome back to the podcast. A few episodes ago for the 100th episode, I invited Liliana on my podcast and this has been maybe the second or third time she was on it. And she just loves answering questions. And I did not have an episode plan. So I decided to ask Instagram, what questions you had for her. And she was thrilled. So this is a lovely q&a, where I just straight up asked Liliana questions from you all and let her answer. I did not do much editing. I only edited like a lot of the items and the quiet spots where she was thinking but I did not script any of this. She you can hear how she talks. She’s a little mini OT and I’m so excited that you get to listen to this episode. Hopefully with your kids, and she talks everything about how to handle it when no one wants to play with you what she thinks about being neurodivergent. She talks about tricks for helping herself fall asleep. There’s a lot of good stuff in here. But please, no, you know, recording with a six year old and a handheld mic is a little tricky. There’s a lot of movement happening. I tried to adjust the volume as best as I could. But I apologize in advance of some sections are quieter, and some sections are a little too loud. So just be ready to turn the volume down. If at any point, it feels like it, maxed out your threshold. Something else I wanted to share. I shared this with Instagram the other day. And they really liked that I was transparent about this. So I wanted to share it with you. Liliana has always been part of my brand and my business because she’s part of she’s the reason why I’m a parent. And I base a lot of my tips and content around realistic things that we do in our house. And I share what it’s like being a neurodivergent parent to a neurodivergent child. And so she’s in a lot of my videos. And she answers a lot of questions to Instagram. And she helps me test a lot of products that we share with Instagram. And she genuinely loves that and asks to be part of it. But this is the first year I am now actively paying her for her time. So she has a bank account. I track the hours she spends with me she always has an option to not do it if she doesn’t want to it’s always phrase as an invitation if she would like to help me. But now I get to pay her for it legally, and it’s all tracked taxes and all of that great good stuff. So that she can start having a savings for when she’s older. But yeah, I just wanted to share that just to be a little bit transparent, because she is taking on a bigger role at ot headquarters at ot butterfly headquarters now that she is helping me more with questions and answers because you all want to hear more from her. So yeah, without further ado, here’s the episode. Liliana 4:16 Welcome to q&a. Let’s Liliana Laura Petix 4:19 Are you ready to answer some questions today? Liliana 4:22 Yes. Laura Petix 4:23 Okay. Someone asked, when you’re really mad, and you want to yell mean words, what is something that you do instead to stop the mean world words from coming out? Liliana 4:37 Second thing I do is stop and take a deep breath. Or sometimes I do the double inhale. And then and then I think I sometimes do a few before I do it. And then sometimes I do. I get a few more things and then that’s how all like, I forget how to I forget not to do the main ranking stuff and not like hitting yell. Laura Petix 5:10 And if you can’t control your words and you lose control of your body and maybe you say mean words or you hit and you’re yell and yell, what can What’s something that you can do after that happens? something Liliana 5:23 I could do after that happened is? Well, usually I’ll I like doing deep, deep breaths after Laura Petix 5:32 and remember, mommy always says, it’s okay to make mistakes. And you can fix those mistakes with the person that you yelled at. Right? You can fix it with by different ways. Like sometimes you drop pictures. Sometimes you say sorry, sometimes you hug that person, right? Yeah, Liliana 5:54 I see. Can I have a hug? For me? For because that’s sometimes me saying I’m sorry that way? Laura Petix 6:03 Yeah, you could say sorry, by asking for a hug. That’s so cool. Okay, ready for the next question? Yes. Okay. The first part of this question is, have you ever felt worried or nervous in the classroom? Liliana 6:18 Um, well, I, I not sure if I get nervous in the classroom, but like, Laura Petix 6:26 if someone else is feeling worried or nervous on the in the classroom, what do you think that they can do to feel less worried or nervous in the classroom? Liliana 6:36 They can ask the teacher what they’re feeling they can maybe ask. They can maybe whisper like, pretend it’s like learning time and, and your friend far away? You could? If your friend right next to you, then you could then that friend kid tell you the one that’s worried that that friend can tell you was a whisper what can what can I do to make me feel better? Yeah, Laura Petix 7:10 let’s say a friend asked you that. What if one of your friends said Leon? I’m so nervous right now. What can I do to feel better? What would you tell them? Liliana 7:18 I would tell them that they can take it could take deep. They could take deep breaths and and then just like, Guess the few it’s like, so let’s say they’re doing math. We are doing math time. And you could you could tell that person to, to take deep breaths or like to count to, to five, or like, yeah, Laura Petix 7:50 great ideas. Okay, next question. How do you feel when someone says they don’t play with you? Liliana 7:57 I just play. I just play by myself and I, and I guess, and I guess like, I don’t care. I don’t care if I played by myself. I just like, play play on the monkey bar sometimes. on things like, play on the slides. I do the climbing wall with the like. Let’s like back so that you go up. Laura Petix 8:25 Both so that’s new that you’ve learned to not really care as much when no one plays with you. But before. Do you remember how it used to make you feel if a friend said that you couldn’t play with them? Or that they didn’t want to be your friend anymore? Liliana 8:39 Yeah, that when I was little I, I got sad that they didn’t want to play with me. Yeah, Laura Petix 8:47 it’s sad when friends don’t want to play with you. But you found something to do by yourself. Yep. Liliana 8:54 Okay. Because sometimes they just need a break because sometimes they play with you every single day and not with other friends. And then they say they need a break because we played together for too long. Laura Petix 9:11 That makes sense. Okay, here’s the next question. Mornings are super hard for me as a seven year old waking up and starting the day feels so hard. What can I do to make it easier? Liliana 9:24 Well, a few days starting to be in hard like So like you said, it’s like they wake up and like they’re feeling like something hard skin or something like, Laura Petix 9:39 let me explain the question better. So it sounds like there’s a seven year old and they have a hard time in the morning. Maybe they feel they wake up and they feel uncomfortable. They feel a little cranky. They’re too tired to start their day. And so then it makes it really hard for them to like, get up, get dressed, brush teeth go to school, because mornings are just kind of harder for their body. and brain. So they’re asking you what are some tips to make their mornings feel a little bit easier to get ready for school and to be in a more of a calm mood in the morning? Liliana 10:10 Well, I say when you’re gonna get dressed the kid like, maybe blow some bubbles like, or like, when you get when you get up. You kid. Okay, blow some more bubbles. So I would say, you could blow bubbles to make to make your day better in the morning, because that’s what I used to do. Laura Petix 10:34 bubbles make everything better. But what do we do now about clothes? Do we even get dressed for school in the morning? No, Liliana 10:41 we get it get dressed at night now before before, so we don’t have to do and we don’t feel cranky. That Laura Petix 10:51 is right. Okay, next question. Do you ever feel shy about wearing headphones when it’s somewhere that’s too loud? Liliana 11:04 I wouldn’t say I would feel shy. I would I just like, I just like wear them. And then when it’s our turn, I will I usually have them in line already. So Right? Yeah. Yeah. So like when, and then when it’s our turn to get on? I just I just walk in like the ride. And then it’s just you’re exploring, and I don’t feel I don’t feel shy about anyone seen my headphones. Laura Petix 11:32 So what would you say to someone who they have sensitive ears, and they don’t like loud sounds, and headphones would help them but they might feel a little shy or embarrassed to wear it because they don’t want other people to see them wearing headphones. What would you say to that kid? Liliana 11:48 Well, I would say if there is if there’s like, um, if they’re, if they if they have me, if they have many ear plugs, they could wear them because that doesn’t really show that much. And they won’t be like shy. Yeah, Laura Petix 12:04 that’s true. I also say that headphones. A lot of people wear headphones anyway. And if you just focus on your body feeling comfortable. That’s all that matters, right? Liliana 12:13 Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s totally fine. Yeah. Laura Petix 12:18 Okay. Next question. Do you like knowing that you’re neurodivergent? Liliana 12:26 Well, I didn’t say anything about it. Yeah. Yet, but yeah, it’s pretty cool. Laura Petix 12:31 What do you mean, you didn’t say anything about it yet? Liliana 12:34 Well, I mean, I get I don’t talk about that. But oh, so Laura Petix 12:38 you don’t talk about being neurodivergent? With your friends? Yeah. So that’s one of the other questions that people ask me said, Would you like to tell your friends that you’re neurodivergent? Or you don’t want them to know about you being neurodivergent? I Liliana 12:50 could tell them, I can tell them I neurodivergent. And, and if they don’t want to? That’s okay. Because maybe they just don’t want to share? Laura Petix 13:01 Yeah, not everyone has to share it, right. But we know that being neurodivergent just means you’re different. And everybody’s different from each other. And everyone has different brains. And there’s nothing wrong with different right. Yeah, me. Me and you are both neurodivergent. Yeah, that’s not cool. Okay, here’s a question that someone asked. Okay. It’s been a long time since you’ve had a meltdown. Do you remember meltdowns? Yeah, yeah. So this might be a hard question, unless you can remember. But this person is asking, What do you feel inside your body? When you have a meltdown? Liliana 13:41 I feel like, I feel like I’m gonna get mad and I’m gonna yell, hit scream kicks, or like all sorts of like, like, body like movements, like kicks, or like kick. Or like, Laura Petix 13:57 yeah, so you lose your you lose control of parts of your body. But I also wonder if you notice, like, different parts of your body feel a certain way. Like if some parts of your body feel hot or cold or tight or beating fast or, or anything in your head? Do you notice anything like that? Like, when I feel really nervous, my tummy feels really tight. So this person is asking, What do you feel inside your body? When you have a meltdown? If you remember? Liliana 14:29 Well, I think my heart beat fast. Like when I do this, or like, when like, when, like, when like, sometimes I got tears when I’m mad. And then and then like, I start to hit and I think my heart heart is beating. Yeah, or like, Laura Petix 14:50 yeah, yeah, yeah, probably. What do you do when you have to go somewhere new and you don’t know What to expect? Liliana 15:02 What do they expect me? Oh, expect Laura Petix 15:05 means like, you don’t know what’s going to happen, you don’t know who’s going to be there, you don’t know what it’s going to be like. So you’re going somewhere new. Maybe it’s like gymnastics class for the first time. Or maybe you’re going to a new park. Or maybe you’re going to a new classroom for your first grade and second grade. But when you’re going somewhere new, and you don’t know what it’s going to be like, and maybe you feel nervous about what it’s going to be like, What is something that you do? Liliana 15:34 I do like, like, on my first day on gymnastics, I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but I just got over it. And like, in like, yeah, I just got over it. And like I am like, I guess like, Go does gymnastics. And now I have it every Monday. And now I’m in a different class in gymnastics, but the same building in us x and now my friend from schools in there. That Laura Petix 16:05 is, that is so fun. So I’m going to give someone else a tip, if they are going somewhere new, and you don’t know what to expect. It’s okay to talk to your grown up about it and ask them questions. Like when you were really little, I don’t have to do this anymore. But when you were really little, I used to show you pictures of places we would go to show you pictures of your like, teacher and talk about what it’s going to be like so that you had you knew what to expect. But I don’t do that as much for you anymore, because you don’t really need it as much, right? Liliana 16:37 Yeah, that’s right. Okay. Laura Petix 16:41 What do you do if you’re having a hard time going to sleep? Liliana 16:47 Oh, that. So if you are having a hard time to go to sleep, try to close your eyes and think of your favorite plays or like what your favorite thing is to do. Like, like, and then you quote, and you’re still closing your eyes and thinking about that. And then that becomes a dream. And then your brain starts to tell you story about that place. And then and then it will, and then you’ll just fall asleep. Like it’s your dream. Laura Petix 17:24 That’s such a good idea. I like that you close your eyes and think of that. Okay, my six year old gets so nervous about going to school each morning, what can I do to make her feel better, you Liliana 17:35 can give her like how many hugs and kisses like if she said, If she says, I don’t want you to leave, I want you to stay with me in school, then you can, then you could um, if she says she wants like a hug or a high five, or like a kiss, or a kiss or a hug. And then you can give her as many as she wants. If she says that, or if he doesn’t, and she’s just crying. You can take some deep breaths with her and give her a hug after and see if he’s feeling calm. And then and then. And then you could and then you and then she might feel better. Laura Petix 18:27 I love that advice. What’s the hardest feeling inside your body to have? Liliana 18:35 The hardest feeling inside my body to have is like when I have a bad dream? In the night and, and and like I’m scared and I’m all alone. But like, Yeah, but like we’re still we’re still on site, but I’m just find myself in my room and you’re in different room. And then after, after when I like wake up in the morning, then I come to your room, and I feel better. And then like so that was the feeling so. So the feeling that I’m telling right now is kinda like when you’re scared and you’re stuck on something in in your brain. Do Laura Petix 19:25 you remember the trick mommy gave you for? If you’re thinking something scary, and you don’t want to think about it. Remember I said it’s not helpful if you just say don’t think about that scary thing. Don’t think about that scary thing because then what is your brain think about? This scary, scary thing. I gave you a tip I said, tell your brain what you want it to think of and think of it very specific, like close your eyes. And think of a pink elephant. Do you have a picture of a pink elephant? Yeah, in the zoo pink elephant in the zoo is it a hot day or a cold day? Liliana 20:03 It’s just the perfect day like it was a perfect Laura Petix 20:06 day and the elephant, the pink elephant is wearing a purple hat with a rainbow on top of that hat. Can you see that with your brain? Yeah, Liliana 20:17 I love it. It’s a girl and look at the sign says its name. Oh, Melody. Laura Petix 20:30 I guess that’s exactly it. So my trick is if you’re feeling scared, and you can’t get a thought out of your brain, instead of saying, don’t think about it, don’t think about it. Give it something to think about. And you can make it something silly. But think of all of the details. Liliana 20:45 Well, the thing I think about it before, is let’s give that fluffy little kitty. And it’s in my bed snuggling with me. But then when I when I’m the bed. The bed things pops in my head. Yeah, and they keep showing him in it doesn’t do that me. And I just, I just started it. Oh, my bad dream was starting and it didn’t work. Okay, Laura Petix 21:18 well, we’ll keep practicing it. Okay, what do you do when there’s something that you want to wear? Like you really want to wear it? It’s super cute. You want to wear it for something. But it also feels really uncomfortable when you put that on? That is definitely something you’ve had to deal with before, right? Yeah, Liliana 21:36 that’s right. So something I’ll do is when, like, if it was a long sleeve or short sleeve for a long sleeve, and it’s like a sequence one in, in it’s in the sequence made in corn. And then and then I could wear it. I could wear a short sleeve shirt under it. And if it was a short sleeve, I could I could wear a tank top of it. Laura Petix 22:07 Yeah. So if you have like a sequined shirt, and it’s bothering your skin underneath, and you can layer it right. But what if there’s something else you want to wear that like it’s not an option to layer it under? Or maybe layering wouldn’t fix the way that it feels like sometimes socks or tights? Or pants that you want to wear that look cute, but maybe don’t fit you exactly how you like it or don’t feel as good on you. What are your options in that time? Liliana 22:35 Right options in the time are like, let’s say I want to wear my super cute lol oh well shirt with sequins. And I can’t layer it. And it was a long sleeve or short sleeve. And I didn’t have an I can’t work layer it. Okay, take a few deep breaths or count to five. I guess hit home. Yeah, that question. And I’m or I could just be flexible and wear something else. Yeah, that’s Laura Petix 23:12 right. So you could take some deep breaths and see if taking deep breaths, calm your body down. And then that might make the shirt or the clothes feel a little easier. Or that might help you make a decision to pick something else to wear. Good. Good tips. Okay, two more questions for you. This next question you sort of answered earlier when I asked if you’d like knowing your neurodivergent but I’m gonna ask it again. Have you ever explained to your friends that your brain works differently? Liliana 23:44 I don’t think I have I have shared with my friends that my that brains are different or like mine. Because we because at lunch time or snack, we usually like making up games so we could play so we could play it when we’re all done with snack and lunch meat. So we don’t really like talk about neurodiversity brains. Yeah, Laura Petix 24:12 that makes sense. It doesn’t really come up for you guys, but I know that they know what it is because I read my book to your whole school. Right? Yeah, and Liliana 24:21 it was and I was so so so so so excited for you. When it was that day. You Laura Petix 24:28 were so sweet. Okay, last question. What is the best thing that your parents do to help you when you feel upset or mad or sad or uncomfortable? Liliana 24:38 Like what you do to make me feel better when when I’m mad? We usually are like sad for mad and sad. We do like double inhale we do the call involving does it come breathing ball and we end up Let me trace over hand with the with five with the five deep breaths for the tracing one. And other kinds of deep breaths. We do like belly breaths, too. Laura Petix 25:11 We just love deep breaths in this house, don’t we? Liliana 25:14 Yeah, we should do. Laura Petix 25:18 Thank you so much for helping me with my podcast today. I think all of your words and advice. I think they’re going to help a lot of kids out there. Does that make you feel happy to know that? Yeah. Is there anything else you want to say to everybody before we say bye? Liliana 25:33 Well, have a good day Joe, enjoying this video that we just made? enjoy Laura Petix 25:39 listening to this episode. Thanks, everyone for listening. Bye. Speaker 1 25:47 If you enjoyed this podcast, please consider rating it and leaving a review which helps other parents find me as well. Want to learn more from me? I share tons more over on Instagram at the OT butterfly. See you next time. Transcribed by




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Laura Petix, MS OTR/L

I’m an enneagram 6, so my brain is constantly moving. My OT lenses never turn off and I can’t “un-see” the sensory and other developmental skills that go in to literally every activity. I love taking what I see and breaking it down into simple terms so parents can understand what goes into their child’s behavior and skills.

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