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Occupational Therapy: My Passion and Purpose

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While there are many contributing factors for my passion of occupational therapy, my athletic background and my grandmother’s diagnosis of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are where it all began – these factors I am going to write about in this occupational therapy essay. My early life included many hours of practice and competition in dance and gymnastics. During that time, I began to experience all of the amazing ways the body works. I found myself seeking ways to understand the intricacies of movement. Over the years, I excelled at both dance and gymnastics, winning many awards, gold medals, and acclaim. Although I was proud of my abilities and accomplishments, part of me realized I was very fortunate. Even in my youth and immaturity, I recognized there were people that could not move in the same ways. This realization ignited my interest in therapeutic care.

My grandmother’s ALS diagnosis during my freshman year of college had a monumental impact on my decision to pursue occupational therapy. After several years battling a debilitating disease, my grandmother needed extra care to perform activities of daily living. As this progressive disease robbed my grandmother of the ability to complete small tasks such as buttoning a shirt, putting on a pair of shoes, or self-feeding, I witnessed her occupational therapist consistently assess her needs, create a plan of care, and assist in managing simple tasks in an effort to improve her overall quality of life. The compassion and attentiveness of her occupational therapist made me want to emulate the same level of expertise and professionalism in the future.

As an exercise science major, I believe my tenacity and dedication has given me the wherewithal to be successful in the most challenging classes during my undergraduate studies. I purposefully sought the most reputable professors knowing they would hold me to high expectations while providing mentorship. I continually requested feedback and used any insight provided to complement my work. A significant milestone in my academic career occurred in the fall of 2018 when I was approved for an Internship with the Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant over the Lebanon Special School District. In addition, I observed as an intern at Dynamic Therapy Center when I left the schools for the day. Although I have always been interested in occupational therapy, my desire and determination grew as the internship unfolded. I found myself reflecting on the children’s progress from week to week. It was rewarding to see them master writing their names, cutting properly, and identifying shapes and numbers. Each of these skills were important in their academic success. My internship revealed how much I enjoyed working with children. My passion was acknowledged through my work in my internship because I was offered a full-time position as a technician and camp program assistant director at Dynamic Therapy Center. With each passing day, my passion intensified greatly. The privilege of working closely with the OT’s and COTA’s convinced me I had chosen the right path. Perhaps, chosen is not the correct word; I believe this is the field in which I am called to serve.

Dynamic Therapy Center specializes in providing physical, occupational, feeding, and speech therapy to pediatric clients. As a technician, I have daily opportunities to work with all four therapy services. I observe and assist with numerous feeding sessions; moreover, I have various techniques to help children with feeding aversions and sensory issues. In addition, I witness physical and occupational therapy services on a daily basis. I assist therapists with providing fine motor, gross motor, and primitive reflex exercises for their patients. Moreover, I have the opportunity to utilize strategies from speech therapy sessions and incorporate them into my daily routine as I work with children.

My primary responsibility as the camp program assistant director is to organize, prepare, and create an environment conducive to learning for transdisciplinary services. Through this role, I am able to experience and assist with all four therapy services; I work closely with occupational therapists to provide sensory activities, fine motor tasks, self-regulation opportunities, and activities of daily living. It is especially rewarding when a client meets objectives. For example, one particular child began the program with many challenges including the lack of ability to self-regulate appropriately in new environments; he spent the first few months crying uncontrollably and unable to calm himself while he was in camp. In addition, he displayed significant sensory aversions. The treating occupational therapists presented coping and sensory strategies to promote improved self-regulation skills. Over time, his occupational therapists and I were able to implement these strategies which facilitated his ability to overcome these obstacles. He is currently thriving across all settings, including preschool camp, individual therapy, home, and the academic environment. To say my job as the camp program assistant director is rewarding would be an understatement. I have realized my purpose in life is to continue to help children with disabilities to excel in all aspects of life.

In conclusion, my experiences, internship, and employment have provided me with great insight into the field of occupational therapy reinforcing my professional goal to earn an OTD degree. I realize Belmont University is a superior institution for an aspiring doctoral candidate like myself. I am confident I have the skill set, perseverance, and resolution to excel in a demanding academic environment with challenging curriculum. I am fully prepared to work diligently in a rigorous graduate program to accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed occupational therapist.

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Occupational Therapy: My Passion and Purpose. (2023, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from
“Occupational Therapy: My Passion and Purpose.” GradesFixer, 11 Feb. 2023,
Occupational Therapy: My Passion and Purpose. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 25 Mar. 2023].
Occupational Therapy: My Passion and Purpose [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Feb 11 [cited 2023 Mar 25]. Available from:
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