Erica Furniss

Occupational Therapist

Erica Furniss

Occupational Therapist

How long have you been working in your field?

I have been practicing for 5 years.  I received my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Duquesne University in January of 2013.  Since then, I have worked in the school and outpatient settings.

How does your education connect to your professional career?

I went to school specifically for occupational therapy, knowing that was what I wanted to do for my career.  Additionally, I took extra classes in order to receive my minor in Special Education, which I feel has helped further my understanding of children with learning disabilities and autism and allowed me to understand my role as a school based therapist even better.

What are your special areas of interest?

My areas of special interest are in feeding, handwriting and sensory integration. I have taken several courses and trainings specific to these areas.  Additionally, I am trained in the DIRFloortime® Method, Zones of Regulation, Integrated Listening Systems and Interactive Metronome.

What are you passionate about in your career?

In general, I am passionate about helping others in any capacity.  Throughout high school and college, I was involved in a variety of service projects and nothing was more rewarding than volunteering my time to help others in need. People appreciate the smallest acts of kindness.  I love what I do because of my daily interactions with the children, they are always so much fun. It is extremely rewarding to see children and their families become more independent and successful across environments.  

What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?

I love to organize and rearrange!  In my personal life as well as professional, you will find so many organizational methods among my belongings and throughout the clinic.  It is a very relaxing and therapeutic activity for me, and I love seeing the final product where everything has a home and gets labeled.