Did any of your consider going into occupational therapy?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by UpperMidwest, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. UpperMidwest

    UpperMidwest Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2017

    I am working as a special ed para and I discovered that I like working with people, especially disabled people. I am leaning towards getting licensed in a special ed area, but I am also considering the OTA or PTA (occupational therapy assistant or physical therapy assistant) route. Did anyone else consider these careers and what influenced your choice? Any regrets?
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    The OT and PT teachers I have worked with have usually worked for private companies and visited students in the schools. They liked the freedom of setting their own schedules and not being subjected to school district regulations. Have you considered training for something more than the OTA or PTA?
     
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  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I've never heard of either of those positions having assistants. Is that a common position in your area? In the districts I've worked in there have only been one or two OTs for the entire district, since most kids only get OT services for 30 minutes per week at most. Personally, I would hate a position like that. You're not really a part of any school team since you're in so many schools, and with only seeing kids once per week for 20-30 minutes, you're not really getting to build relationships with students either. I like working with my students every day, even though I don't get to have them all day long like classroom teachers do.

    The one thing that would be really nice would be the ability to do outside services for some extra money, although I don't know if that applies to OTAs or just regular OT's. Our OT and SLP provide Part C services (for students birth- age 3) during the summer. They can decide how many clients to take on, who they want to work with, which hours, etc. and they make something like $70 an hour. I wish something like that was available for sped teachers!
     
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  5. UpperMidwest

    UpperMidwest Rookie

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    I'm currently subbing as a para and have worked at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. I've only been doing it for about 4 months but I am liking it a lot so far. I'm not sure if the assistant positions are common with school districts.

    I'm almost 35 and I'm not sure an occupational or physical program would pay off for me, that's why I am considering the OTA/PTA (as an assistant). If I was 22 I would consider consider being a OT or PT because I would have more time to recoup the costs. Also PTA's and OTA's spend more time with the patient than OT's and PT's and do less paperwork. I thought about being a SLP but that jobs sounds kinda boring (just the mouth) and i like to move around more vs sitting.

    If I was a PTA or PTA I would definitely want to work for the school district. Right now I'm leaning towards being a spec ed teacher vs an OTA or PTA. By the way, I have an MBA which I am thinking I will have to leave of my resume when applying for positions since it can probably only hurt me. :-/
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I have never seen OT or PT assistants in a school setting (I *might* have seen one at a private school for students with disabilities that was a year round program). I have seen OT and PT assistants at pretty much every place I have gone to for OT.
     
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  7. cupcakequeen

    cupcakequeen Comrade

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    Jan 4, 2017

    We have two OTAs for our district and two full time OTs. We are overall a pretty small district, so I'm kind of surprised to hear that OTAs aren't that common elsewhere.

    I do not envy their crazy schedules, though. Since they serve the entire district they have to bounce around to several schools and have very inconsistent schedules. I'm lucky that the OTA that works with most of my students is at our school 90% of the time so I can usually get in touch with her easily, but our lead OT is almost never here it seems.

    But if you enjoy variety and lots of different settings it may be a good option for you! The OTA has worked with one of my students since he was in kindergarten (now 5th grade) and she is amazing with all of the kids.
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    One of my former schools had OTAs. They hired them because it was cheaper to hire them and have an OT supervise their work than it was to hire an additional OT. I am also surprised that they aren't more common for that reason alone.

    I wouldn't bother leaving the MBA off of your resume. It'll be apparent when you submit your transcripts, and, if you don't submit the transcripts and then get caught, you'll have been caught lying by omission.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    My district offers OT and PT for students who qualify for these services.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    There are assistants in my school. If you feel that you'd enjoy the work then I'd say go for it!
     

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