An OT intern reflects on her semester at PACTT

Laura Robertson was an Occupational Therapy, Level 2, intern at PACTT during Spring and Summer 2015. Here she reflects on her experience:

For the past 3 months I have been interning with PACTT's OT department. I had the chance to present at the new employee orientation, co-lead cooking groups, go on outings with the students, take part in Field Day, participate in student IEP/EDCs and perform part of their 3-year evaluations. I’ve modified some of the equipment used to teach students buttoning and created an independent work station task for student to practice buttoning that can be adapted to student’s needs. While I was here I also got to participate in planning for a new sensory space that will be created at the school.

My last few weeks here I have been helping put together new recipes for classroom cooking. The goal is to teach the students basic recipes that they can do at home in a safe manner and expose the students to different combinations of smells, tastes and textures. If these recipes are a hit, they will become part of the regular school year rotation. 

As my time here at PACTT comes to an end I’ve been reflecting back on all I have learned and how wonderful the staff has been. They have been very welcoming to me and have been patient while I learn. I’ve learned a lot in this internship and will be able to apply what I learned to whatever setting I work in.

To participate in an internship at PACTT, please complete our Volunteer Request form.

Celebrating our incredible team: Prepare to be spoiled!

Yes, spoiled! Of course, we love our teams year-round, but ... this week, we set aside a whole week to give our school teams some extra, extra love! Each and every one is a teacher around here in one way or another, and we can not begin to express our gratitude for the work they do each day. It can be difficult. And draining. And painful. But it is also fun and exciting and rewarding in ways we may never quite expect! So, School Teams, sit back and enjoy the festivities!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Clubs: A time for exploring

This month, we introduced Monday afternoon Clubs to our weekly schedule. Students and staff have the opportunity to spend time with new peers and adults, and explore new activities. In April, clubs included Art, Gardening, Yoga, Movie chat, and Community Clean-Up. Clubs time also gives some of our paraprofessionals time to take on more of a leadership role. Art Club, led by para Christy Wynveen, is a prime example -- her activity from this week was even featured on a local artist's site!     

Here are some pictures from this week's explorations:




Happy Thanksgiving!

PACTT school's annual Thanksgiving Feast was a grand success! A HUGE thank you goes out to all the moms, dads, siblings, and grandmas who took time out of their day to join us today. Whether you were able to enjoy the turkey and stuffing with us, or sent Turkey Day greetings from afar, we are SO thankful that our students all have such supportive families. It makes a world of difference to them - and to us.


Robert Crown Center brings puberty education program to PACTT

Today, we welcomed two instructors from Robert Crown Center's Health Education Program. They recently received an Autism Speaks grant, to modify their puberty education program for students with autism and we at PACTT got to be their guinea pigs as they roll out this new program. The Robert Crown folks were incredibly flexible in the planning and presentation of the material to meet the needs of our students, with lots of hands-on materials, photos and other visuals. We even had a student volunteer to demonstrate how to take a shower (water-free, of course!). We were impressed with how attentive and engaged so many of our students were throughout the one-hour session. Thank you, Robert Crown Center!



PACTT Family Open House - and special guests!

Ah, Open House! The rooms were spiffed up, student art decked the walls, and our new staff were excited to get the chance to meet some of our amazing families.

We also were privileged to have two members of Robert Crown Center's Health Education team join us at this year's open house, to talk about their brand-new puberty curriculum. They adapted their traditional curriculum to meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum.  Educators from Robert Crown will be visiting the school later this month, to do their presentations for our students. We are SO excited to be their "guinea pigs" as they roll out this new project - both learning from them, and sharing our experiences in this tricky-to-teach area. Here's a pic of health educator Laura, with her giant "Chompers."