I am excited, exhausted, and I can’t wait to be an OT.
Today was my first day of Level I fieldwork, a two week full-time rotation at an outpatient pediatric clinic, and it was a full day of observing, interacting, learning, and treating kids. I saw kids with various diagnoses – arthrogryposis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, rett’s, or autism to name some, and I felt thankful for having made this switch and getting to work with people as my profession, enable them to do something they couldn’t before with knowledge and experience.
I realized that often, if I didn’t ask about the kids’ diagnosis, the therapist didn’t specify. It didn’t matter. OTs treat the person as that, and focus on the person’s capabilities – enabling independence wherever possible. It was the strong 9 year old with spina bifida who has limited innervation to her legs yet transfers independently from wheelchair to chair or chair to walker. It was the little boy with autism, nonverbal, who smiled and laughed and engaged during play. To me, OT is putting people in situations and environments that they can feel good in and master, then move on and do their thing in the “real world.”
It’s days like today that bring the “distinct value of occupational therapy” to life.