top of page
Untitled design.png

OT Buzzwords

To help you understand the OT lingo. 
Modulation | The "state" of the nervous system, which corresponds to level of alertness or arousal level (higher or lower). It is expected that this will shift throughout the day. We use active and passive sensory stimulation to adjust your child's level of arousal or alertness (via neurochemical pathways). In doing so, we are creating opportunities to connect, engage, attend, and participate with him/her. The main ingredients we use include proprioceptive, vestibular, and tactile input delivery. Another way to think of modulation is "balance", in that we are using sensory qualities to balance the neurochemicals in your child's brain. This balance is what creates an optimal zone of alertness from which to learn and grow. 
Self-Regulation | In short, self-regulation is the ability to pair or "match" one's level of arousal to a wide variety of environmental or social demands-, to adapt to change-, and to do so when faced with new/challenging experiences. In other words, it's the ability to learn and understand the strategies that work well for oneself, the ability to consistently implement them with or without help, and the ability to be mentally flexible in adaptation and across change (using the toolbox of strategies which work well to support that process). 
Heavy Work | How we describe proprioceptive input delivery. Examples include crashing, pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, climbing within play activities. Think resistance! This is organizing for the body, supports body- and self-awareness, and can be emotionally soothing due to the neurochemical balance it creates in the brain, in particular if your child has an engine that runs "high" (high emotions or stress responses). 
Movement | How we describe vestibular input delivery. Examples include jumping, rolling, toe-touching, climbing, biking, scootering, running, and spinning or swinging. It gives the brain information about where/how the head is moving in space. It can be overstimulating if over-done so we often layer it with other inputs to create balance. 
Touch | How we describe tactile input delivery. Examples include massage, brushing, compression, vibration, texture exploration, and temperature play (e.g. ice water). Touch is an excellent option for de-escalation, connection, and teaching safety in self-regulation. We always work hard to find the options which feel safe and supportive for your child. 
Meals and Snacks | The sensory routines, tools, and strategies which we develop for you and your child to implement together throughout the day. Or, to implement together with their teacher or caregivers at school. These make all the difference in supporting your child's growth from OT to home, school, and the community. 

Phone: (406) 439-0090

Fax: (406) 391-7112

Trailhead OT, PLLC

Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Helena, MT
Logo- Website Header.png
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
bottom of page