Company/Organization: Kaplan JCC on the Palisades
Mentor(s):Anita Miller,MS,OTR Therapeutic Nursery Assistant
Topic of Internship
Speech -Language Pathology
The Therapeutic Nursery is a program for preschool children with a variety of developmental challenges, including communication and learning disorders, ADD/HD, emotional and behavior problems high functioning Autism, PDD and Asperserís Syndrome. The Nursery model was developed at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1978 by Drs. Doris Allen and Lois Mendelson. They provide a warm, enriching environment that helps develop both socialization and interpersonal communication skills. Through daily participation and individual and group meetings with staff and therapists, parents are an integral part of the psycho educational team. Thus, staff benefits from regular input from the parents, and parents can work with staff to provide their child with an optimal environment at home and school. The Nursery's curriculum provides a consistent and predictable environment and focuses primarily on social skills and emotional and behavioral regulation. Developmentally-appropriate group activities (such as music, art, playtime, and gym), children develop play skills, social skills and behavioral control. Through structured teaching, they acquire age appropriate cognitive and self-help skills. By "learning through doing," each child uses developmental strengths to overcome weaknesses, creating a positive attitude toward learning and future schooling.
Summary of Internship
I started off my junior and senior year of high school knowing that I wanted to pursue my career in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. By doing continuous research on speech disorders and from my personal experience with stuttering I knew I wanted to be involved with this field. From interning with Ms. Anita Miller and the rest of my mentors in the Therapeutic Nursery has initially proven to me that this is something that I want to do. While Iím not observing Ms. Serena who is the speech therapist I am usually participating with the children and doing other administrative work. This however allows me to explore the students more and allows me to form relationships with them. Also, it allows me to see the references and the materials that are used by a speech therapist on a daily. Even though my internship is under Ms. Anita, Ms. Serena, Lisa C, Lisa B, Ashley, Michelle and Faye show such commitment and enthusiasm in their careers, and always giving me advice on myself and things within speech therapy. They also show me methods and other ideas that will help me further my career with helping adults and children. For the most part of the day I usually sit in and observe the students who have special cases and get speech services with Ms. Serena, who shows me some of the methods, exercises, history and utensils that she uses to help the patients during therapy. During this time I have been shown a lot of speech and language cases and seen kids with Autism to Dysarthria. She uses a lot of therapy tools such as: chewy tubes and toothettes which are used orally to practice biting and chewing skills. This prevents the patient from teeth grinding. Another tool she uses is a bean bag chair which she uses for some of the autistic children who often have problems controlling their body, so this chair provides them with positioning support and provides a deep pressure input for a calming effect. During my time at Kaplan JCC on the Palisades in the Therapeutic Nursery, it has exposed to me to a wide variety of cases, and because of this I am thankful for being surrounded by wonderful people. I have certainly realized that Speech-Language Pathology is something that I want to do.
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