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Samantha Slaven

Occupational therapist

Samanth SlavenMy Story

The Couch Light

“ Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive who is you’er than you” – Dr Seuss

I graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2013, headed out to rural Mpumalanga for community service, then planted my feet in Nelspruit 5 years before heading up to Johannesburg for a new adventure.

I worked in a state hospital where I provided treatment for a variety of physical conditions in both adults and children. I worked extensively in the NICU, paediatric wards and in the community with mothers and caregivers to equip them with knowledge to care and stimulate their children’s development be it typical or atypical.

I then moved into private practice, where I provided assessment and treatment for ages 0-8 year olds covering early childhood development to school related difficulties. I am Little Steps (premature baby care) trained, completed my introductory NDT, and undergone further training in a variety of developmental assessments, treatment of developmental delay and congenital conditions.

Through private practice I saw the need to support parents and specifically mothers in their role as care givers and started offering parent support and training. I started mother and baby groups that supported typical and atypical development, giving moms with typically developing children as well as moms with additional needs children to socialise and be equipped with knowledge of development.  I co-ordinated events for mothers focusing on topics that related to wellbeing, physical and emotional health as well as coping with the many roles a mother fulfils in her everyday life.

Throughout my career I acknowledged the important role a mother plays in the family and when mom is happy and coping the whole family can thrive. Mom’s  are very close to my heart, especially those going through major life changes. Managing postnatal depression amongst other mental health challenges, or going through a separation can leave moms feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with their basic daily activities of living on top of continuing their role as caregiver. Thus my focus has shifted  to support moms both individually and in group sessions on how to find balance, assessing their daily occupations and building unique routines and rhythms to accomplish their daily activities.

How can Occupational Therapy help a mom?

Occupational therapists (OT) are trained to help people do the things they want and need to do in their daily lives. OT’s believe that how a person spends their time caring for others, resting, sleeping and participating in leisure, play and social activities has an impact on health and well-being.

Occupational therapy helps moms from all walks of life to identify and grow in confidence in the things they are currently doing well. Then assist to develop strategies in areas where they feel overwhelmed to find balance and enable them to reach their personal goals.

Services offered :

Pregnancy Support

  • Planning beyond the birth & creating your plan for parenting
  • Organising your space ergonomically
  • Energy saving techniques & self care
  • Creating boundaries, how to communicate with family & friends
  • Adjusting expectations and navigating the change
  • Coping skills for anxiety

Newborn Stage

  • Navigating your new role of motherhood
  • Creating gentle rhythms and routines of sleep, self-care and family needs so everyone can thrive.
  • Screening and if necessary treatment and referral for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
  • Stress management and coping skills
  • Adjusting to life during and after birth trauma
  • Support for mom and baby bonding and engaging confidently in developmental stimulation activities.
  • Moving and sitting to support healing and breastfeeding

Life Transitions

  • Returning to work
  • Managing mental health and coaching your children
  • Finding the child care to suit your needs
  • Maintaining your identity, restoring your interests and embracing new seasons
  • Adjusting to second, third or more children
  • Parenting through the ages and stages, toddler, tween and teenage
  • Adjusting to empty nest and embracing your identity and purpose

My special interests :

  • Premature babies
  • 0-3 years developmental delays & congenital disorders
  • Pre-learning skills (building foundations for play and school skills)
  • Parent support and education
  • Mom support and education

Qualifications:

BSc Occupational Therapy (University of Cape Town)

Clinical Experience:

2014

1 Year Community Service

Tonga Hospital, Nkomazi, Mpumalanga

  • Inpatient rehabilitation Neurological, physical and psychiatric conditions
  • NICU care and KMC parent education & support
  • Early Childhood Intervention mom and baby stimulation groups
  • Community development projects e.g. pre-school skills development groups, Stroke support & community health education

 

2015 - 2017

Hospital inpatient, outpatient and community clinic services

  • NICU monitoring & intervention, KMC and parent support & training weekly groups in caring for premature babies
  • Community parent education and stimulation groups for children with CP, congenital disorders and developmental delay
  • Paediatric acute care and rehabilitation
  • General Adult rehabilitation for physical disabilities

2017 to present

Private practice

  • Parent training groups
  • Mom and baby groups
  • Toddler activity groups
  • Individual assessment and therapy
  • Special interest events relating to parenting and maternal health

Important note for institutions and/or persons interested in contacting regarding any publication and opinion pieces; please ensure contact is made well in advance prior to your deadline as we are not able to guarantee availability unless an official booking has been made.

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37 Homestead Road,

Corner 12th Avenue

Block F, Homestead Park

Rivonia, Sandton

060 961 7882

Tel: (011) 234 0741   

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Please note that if you are unable to contact us on 011 234 0741 due to the Load shedding, kindly contact us on 060 961 7882