#180 - Grateful for a Different Perspective

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC November 24, 2021

#180 - Grateful for a Different Perspective

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Grateful for a Different Perspective 

Since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, we are talking about all the things we’re thankful for. A few weeks ago, we asked you to share with us on Instagram what you’re grateful for, and what you love most about your sensory child, or yourself, if you’re a little on the neuro-diverse side. We got some amazing responses. We talk about how sensory kids look at the world with a different perspective, and how they teach us to do the same. One of our listeners has recently been diagnosed with autism and she shares how her differences are gifts that really aid her in her work as a professional nanny. Tune in to share the gratitude we all feel for our neuro-diverse kids, and the beautiful ways in which they teach us to slow down and notice the details.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Thanksgiving week: sharing the messages of gratitude that listeners sent in on Instagram.  

  • How sensory kids can teach you to slow down and show you new perspectives.

  • What Rachel has learned about her own diversities since she started focusing on sensory.

  • The joy of extra snuggles from baby wearing.

  • A listener shares how her autism plays out as a strength in her work as a nanny.

  • Rachel and Jessica share what they’re grateful for when it comes to their children, and in general.


Any time a kid teaches us to slow down, it’s a miraculous thing.” — Rachel[0:01:48]

All of these kids who are showing us how to slow down and how to have different perspectives, they’re going to change the world.” —Jessica[0:02:53]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Harkla on Instagram

All Things Sensory on Instagram

All Things Sensory on Facebook


Full Episode Transcript

[0:00:01.4] RH: Hey there, I’m Rachel.


[0:00:03.1] JH: I’m Jessica and this is All Things Sensory by Harkla. Together, we’re on a mission to help children, families, therapists, and educators live happy, healthy lives.


[0:00:12.2] RH: We dive into all things sensory, special needs, occupational therapy, parenting, self-care and so much more. In each episode, we share raw, honest, fun ideas and strategies for everyone to implement into daily life.


[0:00:24.6] JH: Thank you so much for joining us.




[0:00:31.9] RH: Hey everyone, welcome back to another new, fun, episode. You're listening to Rachel and Jessica from All Things Sensory by Harkla.


[0:00:41.6] JH: Because it’s the week of Thanksgiving, we didn’t want to put a big episode out where we talk about a lot of things. We wanted to do something kind of light and more fun and, since it is Thanksgiving, we are talking about all the things we’re thankful for.


[0:00:58.4] RH: A few weeks ago, we asked you to share with us on Instagram what you are thankful for, what you're grateful for, what you love most about your sensory child or yourself if you are a little on the neuro-diverse side and are learning about it and we got some amazing responses.


[0:01:21.4] JH: Yes, thank you too everyone who answered and we are going to share these responses with you just because it’s the season for being thankful.


[0:01:30.5] RH: Yup, these are all anonymous but we just – we’re excited. And it’s great because you all are awesome and so are your kids.


[0:01:39.4] JH: Yes. Okay, so the first one, “She teaches me to slow down, take in all the moments, the good and the bad.”


[0:01:48.1] RH: I think any time a kid teaches us to slow down, it’s a miraculous thing.


[0:01:53.2] JH: Incredible, yeah, because we’re in this such fast paced world that when we do slow down, we see all the things that are amazing about our lives 


[0:02:03.0] RH: That happens to be the good and the bad in this case which is important, definitely. Okay, the next one. “He is six and loves to say hello to everyone he passes.”


[0:02:15.3] JH: My child does this as well, so I totally understand what that’s like and sometimes it feels awkward, but most of the time it’s like, that was such a kind thing to do.


[0:02:26.2] RH: Yes, I love it.


[0:02:28.2] JH: Okay, the next one, I like how this one’s worded. “He’s mad about numbers and words.” He’s probably going to be an engineer, just saying.


[0:02:37.6] RH: Yeah.


[0:02:38.5] JH: I mean, we’re not putting him in a box, just saying he could be.


[0:02:41.8] RH: Yup. Next one, “His different perspectives help open my mind to new ways of thinking.” That one’s awesome.


[0:02:51.3] JH: That’s so important. I just think all of these kids who are showing us how to slow down and how to have different perspectives, they’re going to change the world.


[0:03:00.6] RH: They will.


[0:03:01.1] JH: I really think so.


[0:03:02.7] RH: Yeah, I think it’s so important. I mean, we try to teach our kids this in therapy all the time to have the perspective of someone else and to take that perspective and when someone can teach us, when a child can teach us that, what could be better, you know?


[0:03:17.3] JH: Yeah. The next one, “It has brought many of my own undiscovered diversities to light.”


[0:03:25.0] RH: See? A whole learning about yourselves and your own brains.


[0:03:29.8] JH: Yup, makes me happy.


[0:03:31.2] RH: I will say that, since doing this podcast, since becoming an occupational therapy assistant, since focusing on sensory, I have learned a lot about my own diversities as well.


[0:03:41.6] JH: For sure.


[0:03:43.0] RH: I’ve also learned how to make them special and unique and how to cope with them too.


[0:03:47.8] JH: Yup, exactly. Next one. “My son taught me how to view thew world in a whole new way.”


[0:03:56.1] RH: Lots of these same responses of just looking at things differently because of our children.


[0:04:03.6] JH: So sweet.


[0:04:04.2] RH: Okay, the next one. “He is two-and-a-half and still wants to be in the Baby Tula carrier for proprioceptive input. I love the extra snuggles when he’s in there so much, it makes the hard times disappear.”


[0:04:17.6] RH: So sweet, you can never go wrong with extra snuggles from baby wearing. The possibilities are endless. I mean, just pop your babe on your chest or on your back and snuggle, enjoying those moments.


[0:04:31.4] JH: Even when they’re starting to get a little heavy.


[0:04:33.1] RH: Yes. The next one is, “I love that no matter how hard the day is, the way my child looks at me is with pure love.”


[0:04:41.3] JH: Yes.


[0:04:42.5] RH: Unconditional. So, so sweet.


[0:04:45.9] JH: Next one. “Her curiosity to learn how everything works.” Like I said, these kids are going to change the world.


[0:04:55.3] RH: Another fantastic, just unique way of looking at the world, soaking it all in. All right, the next one is super sweet, all it is, “He’s cheeky.” 


[0:05:08.8] JH: I like saying like a – let me say like, “Oh, she’s so spicy.”


[0:05:13.1] RH: Yes.


[0:05:13.0] JH: It’s like that.


[0:05:14.1] RH: So sweet.


[0:05:16.4] JH: Okay, this next one is a longer one but probably one of our favorites. Rachel, this was sent to your – the Sensory Project Instagram. 


[0:05:25.3] RH: Yes.


[0:05:27.3] JH: I will have you read it.


[0:05:27.3] RH: Okay, this is from an adult and she shared with us that she doesn’t have kids yet. “I’m a professional nanny, caring for kids in three different families at the moment. I also have autism, I didn’t discover I was autistic until more recently and it’s been a really joyful experience to finally realize why my brain works differently.”


“One thing I love about having autism is I have really great attention to detail and I’m often spotting patterns. This is a huge advantage as a caregiver because there are so many patterns in a child’s behavior that gives us a lot of info about their needs.” 


“It’s helped me noticed the ways in which three of my kiddos are neuro-diverse, which then led me to being able to research and educate myself on helping them grow and of course, helping me grow too. I’m also an amazing organizer, I am great at creating routines and making sure they work with and benefit each child.”


“I am also learning to regulate my own sensory issues so that I can continue to respond to my kiddos with compassion even when I am feeling overstimulated. I am also hyper-empathetic, a lesser known symptom of autism, which can be beneficial in teaching my kids about emotions and kindness. I’m not saying everything is a dream or that I never face challenges but I love being autistic. It is such a special part of who I am.” It’s so sweet.


[0:06:50.9] JH: I know. I think that’s great. I love her perspective and how she’s using her – all of her strengths to help the families that she’s working with. I think that’s amazing. 


[0:07:02.0] RH: Yeah, and I love that she’s soaking up the knowledge of how she can take her strengths and help her kiddos but also learn how to make her struggles or her challenges just still be able to benefit her kiddos the job that she does, the work that she does with her three families. Even though she’s overstimulated, she’s hyper-empathetic and she’s working on being able to make a difference for these kiddos lives and I just feel like these kiddos are so lucky to have her. 


[0:07:30.3] JH: They have, they truly are.


[0:07:31.6] RH: Can you come nanny for me? 


[0:07:35.1] JH: Okay, so like we said, thank you to everyone who submitted a response. We appreciate you, we appreciate everyone listening. Really quick Rachel, what are you thankful about for Trip? 


[0:07:49.1] RH: Well, right now he is very – he’s in this phase where he’s very sweet and loving and he will give us hugs and kisses and I mean, I can just relate with these people who share their stories and said that the way that your child looks at you, it just – even on the hard days when they’re up in the middle of the night, we’re exhausted, you know they just look at you and you’re like, “Oh, I’m not even mad anymore” you know? It just makes me happy with him being so sweet and so loving and I’m very grateful for that. 


[0:08:26.5] JH: For sure, okay. 


[0:08:27.9] RH: What about you? 


[0:08:28.9] JH: For Logan, who when this episode comes out he will be eight-years-old, there is a lot of things that I’ve been thankful for recently for him but one of the big ones is that he still wants to like come in and snuggle in bed with me and I know that phase is ending soon as he gets older and so right now, I am really thankful when I wake up in the morning and he snuck into my bed and I didn’t even realize it. I’m like, “Oh he still wants to snuggle in bed with me.” 


[0:08:53.2] RH: So sweet. 


[0:08:54.4] JH: Because that phase is going to end soon. 


[0:08:56.6] RH: Oh yeah, soon he’s going to be like, “Mom.” 


[0:08:58.6] JH: “Don’t touch me”, yeah, so I’m very thankful for that phase right now. 


[0:09:02.7] RH: Well, if you have anything else you like to share with us, feel free to tag us on Instagram while you’re listening to this episode. Screenshot it and tag us on Instagram when you share it to your stories and just put a little blurb in about what you are thankful for with your kiddo whether they are neuro-diverse or not, it doesn’t matter, we want to hear what you’re thankful for. 


[0:09:24.3] JH: Okay, we’re thankful for you and this podcast and each other and just all the things that we get to do to help the world. That’s our goal, so we’re thankful for that. 


[0:09:35.6] RH: It has been an awesome short mini-episode and we’ll plan on seeing you all next week for our regularly scheduled program. 


[0:09:45.2] JH: Okay, see you later. 




[0:09:47.2] RH: Thank you so much for listening to All Things Sensory by Harkla. If you want more information on anything we mentioned in the show, head over to harkla.co/podcast to get all of the show notes.


[0:09:58.5] JH: We always have the show notes and links plus full transcripts to make following along as easy as possible for everyone. If you have follow-up questions, the best place to ask those is in the comments on the show notes or message us on our Instagram account, which is @harkla_family. If you just search Harkla, you’ll find us. 


[0:10:18.5] RH: Like we mentioned before, our podcast listeners get 10% off of their first order at Harkla, whether it is for one of our digital courses, one of our sensory swings, the discount code “sensory” will save you 10%. That code is “sensory.” Head over to harkla.co/sensory to use that code right now so you don’t forget. 


[0:10:40.5] JH: We’re so excited to work together to help create confident kids all over the world and work towards a happier, healthier life. 


[0:10:48.1] RH: All right, we’ll talk to you guys next week. 




[0:10:52.1] JH: Just a friendly reminder: This is general information related to occupational therapy, pediatrics and sensory integration. We do not know you or your child, therefore we do not know any specific needs. Therefore, you should always refer back to your pediatrician and occupational therapist for more information.



While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/l, AC, CPRCS, and Jessica Hill, COTA/L, CPRCS are Harkla's in-house Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) and Certified Primitive Reflex Clinical Specialists. They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. They specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Jessica and Rachel are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Jessica and Rachel, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.

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