Last semester I wrote about why I wanted to be an OT here, but I thought I would include a bit from one of the essays I actually submitted… I am so excited for the way my lifelong adventure continues, and I can hardly wait to see all that God has in store for me!
In many countries, people with physical and intellectual disabilities are devalued. In underserved environments, disability often becomes the identity of a child from birth. A lack of knowledge inhibits provision of proper care and services that could facilitate the developmental capacities and skills which support a productive life. In cultures where the ability to live independently and play a productive role in society is highly valued—especially when it is necessary to survive—people with physical and intellectual challenges would benefit greatly from occupational therapy. Whether it is a premature infant in need of sensory integration to foster development, a child with autism in need of tools to self-regulate, a teenager with a degenerative disorder in need of stretching or splinting to sustain range of motion, or an elderly person in need of adaptations and support to perform basic activities of daily living, occupational therapy provides a means for improving the quality of life and involvement in society (Abbott, 2000; Career 2005).
With knowledge of the goals of occupational therapy, I want to make the potential for improved quality of life become a reality in underserved populations and environments. Though there is a recognizable need for occupational therapy across the U.S.A., services are available to provide effective rehabilitation after injuries, to foster development of fine motor skills, and to develop adaptations to teach and facilitate activities of daily living for those with impairments. I want to take these services in occupational therapy and the knowledge I would gain from a graduate education to the underserved and isolated internationally. I want to use occupational therapy to communicate value, develop worth, and improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities (Career, 2005).