School Visit Success!

Welcome back from spring break! I hope everyone enjoyed their week off. Time to get back into school mode!

I mentioned in a previous post that my Pediatrics class was going to be taking a few trips to the Jefferson Learning Center in Dunmore. As of today, we have had two visits that both went very well!

Our first visit to the center we paired up to observe a classroom. My class is a Secondary Life Skills program for kids ages 18-21. The class normally has 6 students but there were only 4 present when I did my observation. We watched the students participate in an activity learning about community signs with flashcards. Although the students needed much prompting and redirecting, they were able to demonstrate some understanding of the meanings of the signs.

My second visit I conducted the School Functional Assessment with the teacher. This is an assessment that measures one student’s performance of functional tasks that support his or her participating in the academic and social aspects of the school program. The assessment is used by therapists to gain a better understanding of a student’s school-related tasks in order to design appropriate intervention activities.

I think that actually having a chance to administer the assessment in a real-life situation is so beneficial. It is one thing to learn about assessments in the classroom but I think it is important to have practice actually administering and scoring assessments to improve skills and gain confidence.

Our next visit to the school, we will be facilitating an activity with the students. We decided to do a spring craft and decorate butterflies to hang around the classroom. I am really looking forward to engaging the students and hope they enjoy participating in the activity completion.

This Saturday is our OT Graduate Spring Fling and I am getting really excited about it. There are over 100 people attending helping to raise money for an amazing cause! I’ll share photos next week 🙂

Have a great week everyone!!


Helping Those In The Dark

One of the requirements to get my Master’s degree this Spring is to complete a seminar of my choice. These seminars are two days and cover a wide variety of topics. You can chose a seminar based on your interests and availability. I chose to attend the Low Vision Seminar that took place this past weekend and I am so happy I did.

The seminar was taught by Dr. Julie Nastasi, a member of the Occupational Therapy Department, and a former professor of mine. Dr. Nastasi has her SCLV (Specialty Certification in Low Vision) and continues to conduct research in the area of low vision.

The seminar began Friday morning with a brief lecture that gave an overview of common low vision diagnoses and…

My favorite part of the seminar followed the lecture. The group walked downtown to the Lackawanna Blind Association (LBA). The LBA is a non-profit corporation that serves individuals who are blind or visually impaired living in Lackawanna County. They offer a wide variety of programs including case management for homebound clients, recreation life skills education, support groups, exercise classes, an audio book club, a visual support center, and transportation.

During our afternoon at the LBA, we helped participants engage in a sensory development activity. Using shamrock-shaped foam pieces, we helped make St. Patrick’s Day magnets. It was amazing to see how much the individuals were able to do on their own despite their low vision or, in some cases, total blindness. It also amazed me how independent they were in all aspects. One of the individuals who was totally blind was able to make a pot of coffee and use the toilet completely on her own!

Following the activity, we ate lunch and talked with everyone there before the bus came to bring everyone. Overall, I really enjoyed spending time there and meeting all the remarkable people who take advantage of the many great programs the LBA has to offer.

After the LBA, we took a trip to the Viewmont Mall in Dickson City. While there, we were each given a pair of goggles that made us have a vision impairment. With the help of one of our classmates, who wasn’t wearing the goggles, we had to walk around the mall for 30 minutes. I enjoyed this because it gave me an idea of what is like for a person who has a vision impairment to go shopping. As an occupational therapist, think it helps to have an understanding of what the individual you are treating is experiencing in order to provide the best treatment and enhance your client-therapist relationship.

On Saturday, we began the seminar learning about an occupational therapy low vision assessment that can be used to test a client’s vision. We were able to practice administering the assessment to others in the group to demonstrate a good understanding of how it is done properly.

After the lecture, we returned to using the low vision goggles to make muffins. This was quite the experience. I am not very good in the kitchen to begin with and having a vision impairment surely didn’t help. It did give me a better appreciation of how difficult it is for someone who does live with a vision impairment to make a simple recipe. It allowed me to consider ways that I could adapt a client’s home to accommodate for their low vision and make sure they are safe while performing tasks in the kitchen.

To end the seminar, we went to Cafe Classico, a delicious Italian cafe right up the street from campus. Again, we had to wear our goggles to order, eat, and pay for our food. This was another eye-opening experience as I never realized how difficult it would be for someone who has a low vision impairment to enjoy a meal at a restaurant with others.

Overall, I had a really positive learning experience this past weekend. I enjoyed the interactive activities, gaining insight to how difficult certain tasks are for those who have a vision impairment, and most of all meeting all the individuals at the LBA. I think that this will have a positive impact on how I treat client’s in the future who have a vision impairment now that I have a better understanding of the diagnoses.

Have a great spring break everyone!!!

Scranton Athletics

This was a crazy weekend for both the men and women’s University of Scranton basketball teams. Both teams played in the Landmark Conference game, and both will be playing in the NCAA Division III playoff tournament starting this week.

The men’s basketball team defeated Catholic University by 11 points this past Saturday to earn their 6th Landmark Conference championship in the past 8 years with Danzig as their coach. The Royals finished their season with a 22-5 record. The team will now make their 26th NCAA tournament appearance in school history. Their first game will be played this Friday at Babson College in Massachusetts against Baruch College.

Although the girls were just one point shy of a Landmark Conference Championship, they will still be playing in the NCAA Division III tournament. The women’s team finished their season with a 24-3 record. Despite their loss Saturday night, the team received a bid to the tournament and will host the first and second round games this Friday and Saturday. The Lady Royals will compete against Eastern Connecticut in the first round game.

Wishing the best of luck to both teams!

On a different note, Thursday will be my first visit to the Jefferson School and I am extremely excited to meet the teachers and students. I am hopeful that I will have a very positive educational experience and am looking forward to sharing my story with you.

Seniors and alumni, don’t forget to register for this years Shamrockin’ Eve to be held on Friday, March 13th. This year the theme is “Shamrockin’ For A Reason.” All money raised will be used to support the University’s Textbook Scholarship Fund, a scholarship set up for incoming freshman in need. Students selected will each receive a $600 voucher to the bookstore to help cover the cost of textbooks. Candidates chosen are incoming freshman that have an outstanding need for aid and are chosen based on financial aid. This year, we are eager to raise enough money to present 7 students with this scholarship. Here is the link to register:

Have a good week everyone & be safe in this snow! 🙂