Occupational Therapy Assistant Melanie Thomas

Uploaded by PennCollegeVideos on 08.03.2011

>> I just think how special they are and how blessed I am
that I get to know them and play with them.
[ Music ]
>> I can start my day thinking, oh everything went wrong.
I'm exhausted, you know I am not ready to face this day
and then I'll just walk in and you know I see one
of these little faces and they'll smile at me or you know,
say my name and you just think, this is it.
This is worth it.
>> The children's development center is a
non-profit organization.
We serve individuals from birth to 21 years of age.
We offer speech therapy, occupational therapy,
physical therapy, and we also have a therapeutic preschool.
>> OTs work in a very wide variety of settings
in healthcare, hospitals, rehab centers, out-patient clinics,
nursing homes, extended care facilities, and the like.
We also work in community-based systems.
>> A large portion of our members work in school systems
with children with disabilities and that's under the individuals
with disabilities education act.
So, the demand is relatively high in school systems
because the government says schools have to educate children
with disabilities and one of the services they have
to provide is occupational therapy.
>> See how good you made these?
You want to stop on the writing line, okay?
Let's try it again.
>> My job is to serve children of all different special needs.
My case load consists of children in our preschool
who are three to six years of age.
Then I also have case load at a local elementary school.
>> I may see close to 40 children in a week.
Sometimes I do get home and I'll think I never even went
to the rest room today.
But yes, we are allowed to make time to do that.
>> We have to see the glass half full if you're an OT.
You can't look just at what's wrong with people.
You have to really see what's still there
because sometimes people are left with very little
to the outside eye, but you have
to see the possibilities instead of the disabilities.
>> Don't we all feel good about ourselves
when we achieve something
and think you know I did that, I can do that.
>> What we are trying to do is help them function
to their maximum potential even if it's just that they are able
to participate in their dressing,
that they can move one arm and help get it in the sleeve
or have be able to get their hand
to their mouths to chew on something.
What I do is look at those goals and think, okay,
what kind of activities can we do
that will help this child gain this specific skills
that may be needed for this outcome.
>> We play with the kids, get down on the floor, roll around,
tousle and that kind of thing, but we are working.
We are working while we are doing that and I think the value
of occupational therapy is by doing it that way.
We take the client's mind off of the problem.
>> We were well prepared when we came out of Penn College,
well educated in activity analysis where we had
to do actual activities and then you know write
down what component, you know what skill was needed to do
that activity, so that I can look at games or toys
or different things now and say oh, okay well that you need
to do this, this and this to perform that.
Penn College was a wonderful experience
and it means so much to me.
I was just so impressed.
I feel that my education from there was of the highest level.
I felt well prepared when I left there to start right
in to my position and felt I have the tools that I needed.
>> When I went back to school to Penn College I remember one
of my first classes, we had to keep a journal,
the teacher had asked us to write
where you see yourself five years from now.
I had written I am a certified occupational therapist assistant
working at children's development center,
treating area children in schools and local preschools.
>>You're doing great.