Shawn Haney, Occupational Therapy Assistant at KU Ft. Myers
The program Keiser University has with the Quality of Life Center is amazing. As a student I was able to gain experience working with children that will be beneficial to me in the future and in my career choice as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I was able to see children ranging in ages from 4-18. I was able to be a tutor for math for most days and I also had the opportunity to work with children who have learning deficits. As a COTA student this allowed me to see what I could be working on first hand when I graduate and provided me with an invaluable experience.
During my time at the Quality of Life Center I had the privilege of working with a young man that was 5 years old. This young man had been attending a preschool prior to coming to the Quality of Life Center. He had a hard time staying focused and couldn’t seem to learn his ABCs. The education I have received as an OTA helped me identify this boys’ deficit and how to implement strategies that would assist the student in attending to task and to remain focused. I was given the opportunity to continue to work with him on a one on one basis. By the end of the first session he had learned most his ABCs! I saw him twice a week for an hour by the time I left he could write his first name, count to 15, and knew all of his alphabet.
The student was provided intermittent sensory breaks that allowed the him to increase his focus on the task at hand with each session. The breaks that are provided would be unique to each individual, however, in this case allowing the student to engage in short moments/sessions of play provided him and his body with input that further gave him the ability to sit at a table for increasingly periods of time and focus on the task. With each small accomplishment success was celebrated and the students’ motivation and willingness to continue to engage was noted, this was in response to utilizing a “therapeutic use of self”, to continue to understand the student and his needs. This shows what a driven staff and an OTA students collaboration is capable of and it is a wonderful feeling.
The Occupational Therapy Assistance program at Keiser University is a well-known and respected program. The curriculum prepares students to perform occupational therapy in many settings as well as work with a team directly under an Occupational Therapist.
The Quality of Life Center is an organization dedicated to the children in the community who needs help and guidance. The “Q” as it is called works with children in academics and structure, as well as self-expression and respect. The “Q” does this with a dedicated team who works with the children and parents after school to enrich their lives. I can say it changed my life too and it is an experience I will never forget.”