Dear Christina and John,
It is great pleasure that I write this endorsement for the Child Inspired ‘Visual Get Well Maps.’ As an Occupational Therapist who works with a variety of clients regarding holistic wellness, sensory processing, self-regulation, social thinking, and many other areas within the psycho-social and social emotional realms of wellness, I have been able to utilize the Get Well Maps. Using visual supports is a cornerstone of my practice as a means of allowing the patient or client to access information in a different way. When we are stressed, anxious, upset, or even angry, we often experience shut down of some sensory systems and heightened awareness in other sensory systems. For example, you might become less able to “hear and process” verbal language but you may be able to intake visual information more easily.
I have used the Road Maps on just such a premise. I have altered the purpose to allow children as young as 4 and half years old to plan out a trip to the hospital to get bloodwork or a 6 year old to help understand and deal with a parent who has a chronic illness and has many trips in and out of the hospital. For example, I have used the Road Map and it’s Pit Stops as an analogy for how we take our cars to get gas, oil changes, or stop for pit stops in a race. This analogy has helped young children to understand the dynamic process of why we may go in and out for pit stops; it’s not a one- time thing.
The children often draw out their own version of the ‘Journey Home,’ ‘Princess Path,’ or ‘Road Map’ putting in personalized stops they may have to make in order to get to their end result (i.e. updated bloodwork in order to begin Kindergarten). The ability to use this product as a jumping point and then use personalized variations makes this product extremely versatile and user friendly for many populations, not just those in a hospital. Recovery takes many shapes and sizes and this visual technique allows a wide variety of therapists another tool in their tool box!