Monday, June 3, 2013

Student Leader, Dahliena Kwan, USC OT student...... Spirits in Action

Spirits in Action is an annual event held at the University of Southern California (USC) for children with disabilities in the Los Angeles area. These children are given the opportunity to play various games and win small prizes at different booths that are hosted by different organizations at USC. The Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at USC also participates in this event by hosting a sensory table that incorporates simple games with various textures and sensory experiences. Students of the Occupational Therapy Master’s Program volunteer their time at this event in order to promote the profession of occupational therapy, and to encourage participation in play activities in children with disabilities. By hosting this sensory booth, students are able to interact with the children and their parents and family;  together they are able to explore how occupational therapy promotes sensory experiences and how these different activities can help to regulate behaviors and emotions.

During my undergraduate years at USC, I was a member of the Trojan Marching Band and I would participate annually in Spirits in Action as part of the band’s performance. Therefore, I did not have a chance to actually participate in the event directly. However, this year I had the opportunity to volunteer for the event and I was excited to finally participate in hosting a booth for the children. Personally, it was amazing to see how much fun the children and their families were having and the joy that illuminated their faces while playing the games. It was great to also see that many of the parents of the children with disabilities knew about OT because their child was seeing an OT in school. For those who did not know about OT, our volunteers gladly explained the purpose of OT. This event was a great opportunity for me to develop my leadership skills because I had to learn how to effectively collaborate and communicate with the other volunteers and efficiently resolve any problems that arose during the event. Looking forward, I would love to volunteer in events like these again and help to advance and promote the profession.

No comments:

Post a Comment