OT Masters, American Woman, Love for Children

A sensitive young woman with a very special love for children, I was born and raised in North Carolina, where flight was invented and I have always dreamed big, eager to see the world. I hope to be selected for your distinguished Master’s Degree program in Occupational Therapy on the basis of my intense passion for helping those who most need my assistance, along with the extensive experience with the developmentally disabled. Currently a nanny for a toddler with Downs Syndrome, I am also experienced in the care and education of children with cerebral palsy, blindness, and non-verbal autism. My intellectual engagement with Autism, in particular, is rapidly ascending and I feel increasingly certain that it is in this area where I will make my mark professionally in terms of both research and practice.

I have served as a nanny in Denmark, Germany and South Africa, lived, worked, and studied for one year in Australia, and have escaped to Jamaica or Mexico for the beach and to practice my Spanish. Most of all, I adore children and I want to devote my life to changing their lives for the better, especially getting off to an early start when a helping hand is most effective: with children. I look forward to a long lifetime helping families to realize that having a child/family member with special needs is a blessing to be enjoyed, savored, and made the most of, especially in the case of children. My optimism is sustained by a positive attitude and a creative tool kit of resources and ingenuity that I want to share with others, so as to enhance the quality of the life of special needs children and their families. Whoever comes to see me as a patient: I want to improve their world. I want them to succeed in whatever they want to do and I want to find a way to help them realize their goals when they come to see me. As an OT Professional, I hope to someday start my own Pediatric private practice. I also plan to start a support group for siblings of children that have special needs and to pursue research in this area. I want to help advocate for special needs individuals and participate in changing the way that society sees special needs people, helping communities to better understand and appreciate the value of our special needs members and the very valuable things that they can teach us as they learn themselves.

My research interests are focused on autism, the success rate of ABA therapy, and discrete trial training, as well as helping clients who have experienced strokes or other neurological incidents (paraplegic etc.) with a variety of tasks including driving (inventing technology that allows those who have limited physical ability to drive a vehicle). I look forward to at some point creating my own facility for special needs individuals. Many parents of special needs kids/teenagers have communicated with me the worry and fear they feel when thinking about where their child will end up after they are no longer able to care for them. This has motivated me to think creatively about the institution or foundation that I would like to develop in the futures, where special needs people can live as independently as possible and enjoy community support at the same time, many with jobs in the community and support as needed for help with budging/paying bills, grocery shopping, etc. Parents want their children to be happy, protected, loved and I think having this kind of foundation would help provide parents of special needs patients that their children will be cared for and happy, staying occupied and engaged with the community at the same time that they maximize control over their own lives.

I have a little brother with Downs Syndrome. Since I was 11 when he was born, I helped raise him along with my two other younger siblings. He changed my world and helped me to develop and cultivate a huge heart. I have learned that what makes me the happiest is doing things for other people. I have empathy and I understand where parents and families are coming from when they come in exhausted, worn out and losing hope. I have lived it first-hand. I want these families to know it gets better; it's not an easy road but it's not the end, only the beginning.

I worked one-on-one with a 15-year-old boy who was nonverbal with autism for 2.5 years in college through a non-profit organization. Hunter soon became my best friend since I worked with him every day. The bittersweet character of my feelings when he passed away a month after I graduated from college is beyond words, and will always continue to inspire me each day that I go forward. Becoming an OT professional was an idea that first occurred to me largely as a result of my special needs brother. My love for Hunter and the joy that I found in his company confirmed and amplified my dedication to Occupational Therapy. After Hunter I worked with a teenager with Autism and tuber sclerosis. Since she had a feeding tube, I began devoting more and more time to exploring issues and ideas in this area.

I also spent a year in Australia living and working with an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who was also blind (Abby). Her father was a quadraplegic. They became my second family and they amazed me every single day with their great strength and perseverance. My host mom is about to come visit me in the U.S. When living with them, I helped Abby and her twin sister (who was mildly developmentally delayed) get ready for school in the mornings as well as their nightly and weekend routines. Currently, I spend almost every day with a 2.5 year old with Downs Syndrome. I have been working with her for over a year and I plan to stick around for another year. I observe and implement her goals from her OT, PT and speech therapy. She is amazing. She just confirms more and more each day how much I love what I am doing.

I guess you can say that I have a soft spot in my heart for children and adolescents with special needs. I just wish the entire world saw what I see in these kids. I want to make their dreams come true no matter how big or small. My brother, David, is now 14 and proposes to every pretty girl he meets. He's ready to drive, have a house, a wife and yes, even kids. And why shouldn't he? Even though I remind him he has a few more years to prepare, and still has to finish high school and college, I want to see all these things happen in his life, he deserves it.

Finally, I will also excel at the business side of OT based in part for my passion for organization and time management and the fact that I have already built a babysitting business for visitors to our XXXX NC community, sending college girls to homes of tourists to babysit their children when the parents go out.

I thank you for considering my application. 


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