Learning to make a difference

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Learning to make a difference

Fourth year Occupational Therapy student, Laura Donaldson has just finished a seven week placement at Ability Centre. 

During the placement, Laura has the opportunity to work with a range of customers based at the Central Hub in Coolbinia. As a final year student, Laura was given the opportunity to run the Xhale and Sensory Explorers group programs and conduct one-on-one sessions focussing on fine motor control and writing skills with young customers.

Laura said, ‘I was able to choose Ability Centre as my final placement as working with children and adults with a disability is a career goal. Being able to cement my theoretical learning with practical experience has been invaluable.’

‘On this placement, I was able to work with a number of children with autism, which was a new experience. Through the support of my Ability Centre supervisor and the team, I have learnt new skills to be able to support these children and better understand their differences.’

During her placement, Laura worked with two-year old Elena who has recently been diagnosed with Global Development Delay. The sessions focussed on developing Elena’s interest in different foods and textures through food play. 

‘Working with Elena was a really enjoyable experience and I learnt a lot about working with children with developmental delay. This placement has been invaluable and I will be using these skills as I start my career’ she said. 

Student Supervisor and Occupational Therapist, Jacinta Martino-Kelderman said that, “Practical placements are essential for students to be able to turn their university learning into real life skills. I enjoy working with students to develop their ‘hands-on’ skills helps to ensure that the next generation of therapists are equipped for a challenging and rewarding future in disability services.”

Ability Centre hosts occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech pathology students on placement throughout the year. If you would like more information email info@abilitycentre.com.au.