Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Our Student Speaks, Part III

Week 3 & 4...

Once again the most exciting thing about therapy is the unending scientific and creative process of how to help heal one’s body and mind in a holistic way.

Such as a surgeon tries to continually evolve in finding less invasive techniques and procedures to cut and repair bones and organs; OT’s and other allied therapists persist and practice in finding less invasive ways to adapt a functional activity to a client in order to assist in the occupation of daily living.

What continues to amaze me in the school based OT focus, is the thought that even one individualized activity formulated and focused precisely for that child while seemingly small, can be enormous in molding and shaping their skills, attributes, and attitude for the rest of their lives.

Participating, creating and constantly researching all these incredible therapies in the last several weeks is how I’ve come to my notion of how nature and nurture pertain to occupational therapy.

An OT/OTA is someone who possesses supernatural optimistic intelligence, flexibility and capabilities. They are gentle, fun, sensitive, insightful, and philosophical and embody a great sense of pride, power and privilege in all they can do to improve themselves and others. These are attributes I admire about my soon to be career.

I reflect back to last year’s EW! Reading days when my reader and I would meet at Bluff Elementary long before my OTA fieldwork training started. We had begun to read the story of The Little Prince. A book by Antoine St. Exupery that makes profound and idealistic observations about life and human nature…

... When the ignorance of others sees the OT's time as waste, and the OT as someone who merely plays games with children, assuming, of course, that anyone with any kind of capability could do so…I’d ask them to have a step into my shoes…

It is here and now, on my student affiliation, that I can take the time to see true colors shining through the black and white; how mesmerizing it is to see the students reaction and the connection they have towards that OT who has assisted them since their very first day of school.

When students walk in the room, it’s like their bodies enter into a whole new world of possibilities. While their systems struggle to find the just-right diet, they discover new insight and reflect on ways to act, react, behave, and respectfully gain self gratification and satisfaction. This is nourishment that they can get no where else!

Written by: Kasey Elizabeth Schmidt, OTA Student, River Valley Community College

Posted by: Theresa Chausse



Our Student Speaks, PART II

Planned and performed some of my own treatments in week two at Disnard and Bluff Elementary. Also I continue to participate in the full routine with the COTAs I’m working with. I have been preparing more treatments…

Preparation has pertained of reading all kids IEP‘s (Individualized Education Plans) past and present goals.

The metaphorical and never ending creative process of relating specific activities to long and short term goals is an exciting, fun, and very much challenging one; the more in depth you want to make it that is. Therefore I’ve discovered the challenge for myself is to learn fresh from the professionals I’m around presently, without carrying the weight of the in depth studies I’ve gained from the classroom; in order to find my own happy medium. I’m sure the push of teaching my very own (supervised) sessions this next week will certainly be the key finding my balance.

This fieldwork experience has been very different for me as far as what I’m used to from my personal work occupation. I know I love working with kids, I wouldn’t replace my volunteer work for the world. Although at this point of my life and career it’s kind of like teaching a dog new tricks!

Sure, I know I am, and always will be a kid magnet. Heck I’ve had kids tell me I’m not a grown up, I’m just a really big kid! ;) And in my head it seems easy enough working with many different children and their individualized goals everyday for forty hours a week, but when actually doing this for the first time, oh wow this is really hard work! The COTA’s and OTR’s that work in the school systems are super heroes and that’s final!

In conclusion of my small summary of the second week’s events, I’d just like to mention or possibly make re-mention of how everyone I’ve been working with so far have been, and continue to be so kind and considerate to my needs as a student even when I struggle; while also trying to get their job done. They’ve literally taken me in as apart of their mission; almost like a natural instinct of their caring and teaching efforts. These kind gestures and genuineness make me strive to be better at what I aim to achieve, even during this exhausting time while still learning a career art form that is so very new (to me).

Written by: Kasey Elizabeth Schmidt, OTA Student River Valley Community College

Posted by: Theresa Chausse


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