Goodbye, Summer! Hello, Fall semester!
It has been a fantastic summer full of learning, and it’s good to be back. To pick up where we left off from my first post, commencement was great! Dr. Elizabeth Yerxa was our commencement speaker, and I felt like all of us were a little starstruck because she is such a distinguished member in the field of occupational therapy. The following Monday, I began my first Level II Fieldwork at a private pediatric clinic called PlaySteps in Northern California. It was an incredible experience because I was able to have some kids on my own caseload and the occupational therapists there provided great mentorship. I learned pretty quickly that observing a therapist working with a kid is very different from actually treating the kid yourself. It seems to require many years of experience to have reflexes as fast as the therapists’ that I observed during fieldwork! One of the highlights from this summer was being able to build up rapport with the kids and think of creative activities that match with their interests. For example, one kid that was on my caseload had difficulty keeping up with his peers during writing tasks and we worked on handwriting together. He told me that he was reading the Magic Tree House book series recently, which I was excited about because I read them when I was a kid too! We decoded mystery notes with number-letter codes. It was fun! One fulfilling moment was when we finished a session, and a kid casually commented while leaving, “I like OT.” WHOOHOO! One challenge for me was maintaining flexibility with how a session may go – sometimes a kid doesn’t show up, other times an activity simply doesn’t go as planned. I definitely felt myself grow in the skills of a pediatric occupational therapist, but also recognized that there are many many many things left to learn.
Here’s to another great school year!