OT School Taught Me Almost Nothing About Real-Life Therapy

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My first year of OT practice (in the dark ages….before Beyoncé was famous) was a trial by fire:

Many of my patients didn’t eat unless they came to school (there was no food at home).

A foster mom threatened to beat me up because I asked about her son’s SEVERE ear infection.

I was supposed to see 45 children for an hour of one-on-one-therapy every week (but I only worked 40 hours a week).

No matter how much swinging or brushing I did, I never seemed to cure ANYONE of sensory processing disorder.

I was gripped with the fear that I was the only pediatric OT in America who HATED working on handwriting. And every single kid had handwriting goals.

I made $32k a year and paid $800 a month in rent (insert facepalm here). Don’t even get me started on the student loans. Or the E. coli in every Play-Doh container in the clinic. Or the lice.

One Thing’s For Sure: Pediatric Therapy Is Not For Wusses

I spent a lot of time feeling like a failure and a fraud. I fantasized about giving up therapy every. single. day.

But, because student loans don’t pay themselves, I had to make it work. That’s when I became a continuing education fanatic.

Ironically, I probably could have paid off my student loans with the amount of money I spent on continuing education back then.

Courses were so far away, incredibly expensive, and, more often than not, required unpaid time off from work (I had  2 weeks per year of PTO, ya’ll…that basically equals zero PTO when you have E. coli in your Play-Doh).

Online courses changed all that, thank goodness.


Even though continuing education courses are cheaper and more convenient these days, they aren’t necessarily more helpful.

How many times have you finished an online course and thought, “Those strategies would never work in a million years with the kids I treat.

Or, “How the heck do you even implement that?”

Or, “That was a complete waste of my time.

There’s lots of room for improvement.

I have real-world therapy questions, and so do you.

pediatricOTcourses.com is on a mission to answer those questions.

We want to help you bust through obstacles and give you the best ideas for pediatric therapy, business, and life. It’s time to focus on YOUR potential for a change.

Our Beliefs And Values

  1. If you’re a pediatric therapist, you’re a leader (whether or not you have some fancy title).
  2. No one has the market cornered on child development. We can learn something from every therapist, no matter what their letters are.
  3. Critical thinking is vital. We’re not afraid to change course when the evidence exposes the limits of our old ideas.
  4. The future of pediatric therapy depends on entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.
  5. The pursuit of self-improvement is what separates good therapists from great therapists.
  6. Healthcare is a human right.

What can we do to help you? Drop us a note.

Ashley King, MSR, OTR/L
Founding Editor,  pediatricOTCourses.com