Occupational Therapy is one of the many fields with the purpose of helping its respective patients address their needs and cope with with their disabilities. Being into this profession and the children being my most valued clients, this paper will describe the volunteer works I have done to serve patients who need my professional service. Aimed at specializing on helping and caring children with disabilities and those who need rehabilitation, this essay will picture the services and works that I do and the things that I plan in the future for the improvement of the service and profession of Occupational Therapy.
Understanding Occupational Therapy I love helping people throughout my entire life. This is who I am. With a B. S. Behavioral Science course in hand, I have volunteered in my cousin’s occupational therapy clinic and will continue to do so. Being a part of a volunteer program at church helping children with disabilities made me realize that I do not only want to help people who are in physical need but also psychological thus pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy will allow me to fulfill this mission. In the near future, I will specialize in helping children through their disabilities and rehabilitation.
To start with, I already took initiatives that will develop me in preparing in the field of Occupational Therapy. But first I need to have an understanding of OT in order for me to develop these qualities and meet my goal. The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) defined Occupational Therapy as “a treatment that focuses on helping people achieve independence in all areas of their lives, can offer kids with various needs positive, fun activities to improve their cognitive, physical, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
” Occupational Therapy is not only for adults just because they are the ones who have occupations but it is also for children whose main job is playing and learning. AOTA further stated that aside from an individual’s physical well-being, OT practitioners respond to the psychological, social, and environmental factors that may prevent an individual’s functioning in various ways. This unique approach made occupational therapy a vital part of health care for some kids who are my most concern of giving my help. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U. S.
Department of Labor, improving the patient’s ability to perform tasks in living and working environments and working with those who suffer from a mentally, physically, developmentally, or emotionally disabling condition are only two of the many functions of an Occupational Therapists. By using treatments to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of their patients, the OTs help patients not only to improve their basic motor functions and reasoning abilities but also to compensate for permanent loss of function. The main purpose is to help the patients to have and enjoy an independent, productive, and satisfying lives.
I have initiated being a part of a volunteer program to enhance my practice of Occupational Therapy and to expand my reach in helping children especially those who have disabilities and need rehabilitation. In meeting my goal of helping children meet their needs, I pursued working on fine motor skills so that kids can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills. Addressing hand–eye coordination to improve play skills, such as hitting a target, batting a ball, or copying from a blackboard can also be done by an OT like me.
Being a church volunteer, I was exposed and I felt the plight of children who are in dire need of my service. Children with disabilities and those need rehabilitation surely benefited from my medical and psychological expertise and in my personal crusade, I intend to share more the warmth of helping kids so that they can cope with their impairments. My volunteer work expanded when I helped kids with severe developmental delays learn some basic tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves.
I volunteered helping kids with behavioral disorders learn anger-management techniques like instead of hitting others or acting out, the children would learn positive ways to deal with anger, such as writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity. Other initiatives I have done included teaching kids with physical disabilities the coordination skills required to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting and an evaluation of each child’s needs for specialized equipment such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids.
I also worked with kids who have sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills. The relationship between a volunteer OT and the kid-patients is really enjoyable and rewarding. Volunteer experiences put me in a different environment and exposed me to people and situations that I would not have come across in my regular life.
Although it takes a skilled effort on the part of an occupational therapy practitioner to make therapy fun for children, satisfaction comes when I am able to say that I’ve been involved in the design from the ground up, and to make people stop and think about supporting all children. My real job is about creating a level playing field within the environment, using my knowledge on children of all abilities, and understanding that we need to look at what we can do to the environment to make it a better place for all children to be successful.
Every child needs to be able to find their ‘just-right’ fit. I tried to cover different developmental stages so that there is something appropriate for all, and the kids and their love ones can play together. There is a lot of opportunity for practitioners in this field, so long as they are able to think outside the box.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. U. S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook (2008-09 Edition). Washington DC 20402: US Government Printing Office.