Travel Correspondent: Caitlin, Australia, Moving Mountains

Caitlin: Moving Mountains

My second internship site is at Moving Mountains, a pediatric occupational therapy and speech therapy site. I will be working in the occupational therapy department with Marie, observing and helping to deliver occupational therapy services to children. Moving Mountains works with children with various needs, such as those with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, fine motor deficits, behavioral problems, and school-readiness. Pediatric occupational therapy is a fun time because it all focuses around play activities that incorporate learning a certain skill.

On my first day with Moving Mountains, I worked with two children who have poor hand strength, leading to a weakened grasp/pinch and poor letter/number formation. In these sessions, I was able to play the game Wok and Roll with the children. In this game, they are required to pick pieces out of the vibrating and moving wok using tweezers and their “pincher fingers.” It is actually a very tricky game! It was great to see them both laughing and having fun during the game, and I could see their pincher fingers improving as the game went on. After, we worked on a coloring by number activity to again work on pincher fingers for holding a crayon, but also on hand strength. One child has very light pressure with writing utensils, so this was a great activity to have him work on coloring darker. The last activity was number formation. The children traced numbers to learn correct formation and grasp on the pencil, then were encouraged to try and write the numbers on their own. The second child uses a lot of pressure with her pencil and writes very dark, so we encouraged her to write lighter numbers, which in turn led to a more relaxed and proper grasp on her pencil.

On my second day, I was able to see a little boy with autism as well as a girl with down syndrome. We did similar fine motor activities as the previous day, but we also incorporated heavy work, such as using the sensory swings and scooter board to complete activities. Both of these children exhibited behaviors when they became frustrated, so I was able to get a glimpse into how to manage and deescalate behaviors during a session. At the end of the day, I accompanied Marie to a preschool to consult with the director about a little boy who will be receiving services. The experience was very beneficial as I learned important questions to ask and information to collect to complete a comprehensive occupational profile to determine areas of need and plan intervention.

I am looking forward to applying and using the skills I have learned from my pediatric occupational therapy class in school in order to deliver services to various clients, as well as learning more from the sessions I see and participate in at Moving Mountains. I have learned so much in only two days, so I know I will learn a lot more and develop into a pediatric occupational therapist by the end of my time here!


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Posted by World Endeavors on    June 28, 2018

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World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.