Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ASD Connection

Remember when I was whining about how hard it was going to be to do my fieldwork placements because of the time I'd be missing out on with the boys.  Well it's been almost 10 weeks since I worried about that.  I've completed one placement and am a few days into my second.  It's flying by without a hitch.

I based my decision to go into an OTA program from my work at the developmental preschool I had worked in for years.  That and on the work I had seen from our OT and how her suggestions always helped my boys so much.  I was so interested in sensory-integration and the thought-processes it took to help modify daily activities for children who had special needs.  I went into this program not even knowing that OT could be in other arenas- I had only, ever, seen it regarding children.

I've had the chance to be exposed to many arenas through fieldwork placements and service learning including mental health, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living, home health, and outpatient hand therapy.  I have seriously loved every single arena and could see myself working in them- but still I just know I was made to work with children.

My placement now is with a school system and I couldn't be happier.  The minute I walked in I felt so at ease.  And though I feel comfortable with all children with all needs, I have such a special place in my heart for the kids on the spectrum.  Whether they are five or fifteen, whether they are nonverbal or very talkative, whether they bolt, whether they hit, whether they yell, I just could care less, I love them all.  It's hard for me to explain, yet most of my readers are parents of kids on the spectrum, so maybe you will understand what others I've talked to about it with don't.  My heart just grows when I see a student walk into the therapy room doing that familiar hand flap.

My very-supportive professor asked me during a one-on-one meeting last semester how I thought I would handle burn-out.  Would it be too hard to work all day with demanding children only to come home to my own demanding child?  Would I have the energy I needed and wanted to have for the most important children in my life?  I understand where she is coming from but I just don't see that as a problem.  It was never a problem when I worked at the preschool and so far this week I feel even more energized when I come home- I don't think my boys have ever received so much occupational therapy- because I'm so excited to try out some new ideas I was taught during the day.

I really feel like working with kids on the spectrum is my calling.  I really think I could do something great in this field.  I'm just bursting at the brim with excitement and ideas to get out there on my own.



Oh and P.S.  I received a letter today that I was nominated as student-of-the-year.  I'm the biggest goober but I can't stop smiling.

12 comments:

Lynn said...

Nothing goober-y about that...congratulations! That is awesome that you have such an affinity for our kids. I feel the same way about them, and yet I don't think I could work with them for a career and then come home to it as well. You are a very special person to do so!

threecreditsatatime said...

So proud of you, and you ought to be crazy-proud of yourself! You're an amazing woman, and you're going to excel at everything life puts in front of you!

Karla said...

I'm really happy for you! Both on your award and your calling. : )

I too feel an affinity for kids on the spectrum. I love my son's goofy floppy run and I have to smile when I see it in others too. There are so many great things in their personalities!

Kathy said...

Anything that has you "bursting at the brim" is definately your calling. I haven't felt that way since, well, I ate too many pancakes.

Oh, and congratulations.

bbsmum said...

You're going to be the sort of OT who will make a big difference in kids' lives, just by your attitude. Go for it!

Apples and Autobots said...

How exciting!

WhisperingWriter said...

Congrats!!

My son does the hand flap thing when he's really excited.

Christina said...

Way to go!!! In my book you are student-of-the-year, mom-of-the-year, friend-of-the-year, you name it! I'm so glad that you know exactly where you want to be and that it is all working out for you!

WhisperingWriter said...

Congrats on being nominated for student of the year. That is awesome.

MommyToTwoBoys said...

That is fantastic! On getting all this work done, going in that direction, and in being student of the year! I love that you say you love "our" kind of kid. I want my son to always have teachers who feel that way. As his first school they did, and at his school now he has 3 teachers who feel that way, and 1 who I can tell doesn't. I don't like her. He doesn't like her. I know that's terrible.

After my son finished ABA, which he was in from 18 months to 3, I said that if I ever go back to teaching it will be special needs infants and toddlers. It has become such a special place in my heart. It is so rewarding and the parents and kids need you so much.

Karen V. said...

This is so cool. Student of the Year nomination is great and must be because the learning comes from your heart! Congrats!

All those kids that get to work with you are very lucky to have someone with the special insight you do!! I'm very excited and happy for you (and jealous of all those families that will get your special attention!)

Karen V. said...

This is so cool. Student of the Year nomination is great and must be because the learning comes from your heart! Congrats!

All those kids that get to work with you are very lucky to have someone with the special insight you do!! I'm very excited and happy for you (and jealous of all those families that will get your special attention!)