I have always known that I have wanted to work with children, from the time when I was young and would play with my cousins or family friends, to when I babysat as a teenager.
As I completed my fieldwork experiences, I started thinking ‘hmm, maybe I would like working with these other populations’ (rehab, hospitals, etc), but then I completed my pediatrics fieldwork and knew without a doubt: that was the population I wanted to work with.
Family Influences on My Career
Deciding to be an occupational therapist came about in a different way. My sister (who is a year younger than I am) was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at an early age. She participated in occupational therapy sessions at school, as well as through a private clinic.
I loved attending sessions with her because the occupational therapist would sometimes let me play the games with her, such as tossing and catching bean bags. As an elementary school student at the time, I thought it was the most fun activity ever. Her occupational therapy sessions-to me-never felt like she was working, it was always play.
As my sister completed elementary school and entered middle school, I saw firsthand what the family of a student with an autism spectrum disorder can go through with school districts.
My parents were constantly advocating for my sister’s needs to help her be successful in school, but the school would come back with a different response each time. It was many years until my sister landed in a high school designed for students with learning disabilities. She was more successful at that school than in the public school system.
As the time came to apply for college and list what you wanted to major in, I was thinking of being a teacher, until my mom suggested occupational therapy. I thought about it and decided that, from what little I knew of it from participating with my sister, it sounded like a good fit for me. It was then I decided I wanted to work in the public schools so that I could help students like my sister have a successful experience in school.
Two Jobs, One Goal
While I am only working here at The Galvin Therapy Center part time, I continue to work full time in the school district and I love what I do in both settings. I have learned a lot in my time as a therapist so far (which is not all that long) but I know I have a lot to learn, and working at The Galvin Therapy Center is the perfect place to foster an increase in knowledge.
It is so easy to tell that everyone here loves what they do and are passionate and knowledgeable in their field.
I can only hope that I am reaching my goal of helping children, not only to be successful in school, but to also be successful in their everyday lives. I truly believe I chose the most rewarding field I could have.