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The More the Merrier- Why Having a Fieldwork Student is Beneficial for Your Child

NSPT strongly believes in taking on new fieldwork students in order to create a great learning environment for both the therapists and the families.  As a parent, you may be asking, “what’s in this process for me”?  Here is a list of 5 examples why having a fieldwork student working beside your child’s therapist serves as such a wonderful growth opportunity for everyone involved. Pediatric therapist smiling

  1. New knowledge:  Oftentimes, new editions of textbooks come out each year, which include new case studies and updated information.  When a student comes in, she is able to share this current knowledge, and apply it to the therapist’s caseload as appropriate.  Similarly, a student usually subscribes to research-based articles through her school, which can be a great resource for families (e.g. OT Practice Magazine; ASHA).
  2. Flexibility:  Having a fieldwork student helps your child work on his flexibility skills as he has to build a relationship with a new person, follow a new set of directions, and possibly follow a new layout for the treatment session.  Flexibility is an important life-long skill, as things won’t always go as your child  hopes or plans, and it is crucial to be able to work through these situations and say “no big deal”.
  3. Extra set of hands and eyes:  When an extra body is present, this allows for an extra set of hands and eyes to watch how the child moves around and interacts with the environment.   Having a student typically helps the child’s therapist try new equipment and/or more complicated treatment activities that she might not otherwise be able to use (e.g. the rainbow swing- one person needs to open up the swing, and one person needs to lift the child onto the swing).
  4. Fresh perspective on treatment ideas:  As a fieldwork supervisor, the therapist tries to challenge the fieldwork student to bring in new creative treatment ideas to the child’s therapy sessions each week.  This helps the child work through novel tasks and demands, and it also puts a new spin on how to help the child work towards his current goals.
  5. Extra practice for social skills:  Having a fieldwork student means that your child will have a new person to meet and greet.  This will help your child continue to work on eye contact, manners (e.g. shaking hands), and turn-taking (e.g. during games or when creating a plan/schedule for the session).

There are many benefits that come from allowing a student to complete her fieldwork rotation at NSPT, both for the clinicians and the clients.  A student can bring a new perspective to the table, and can offer new creative strategies  to help the child best reach his goals.

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding the process of taking on a fieldwork student, please feel free to reach out to your child’s current therapist, or contact anyone on our NSPT team.