Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are lucky enough to work with a vast array of patients every day. You may find yourself working with children in the morning and adults in the afternoon. Occupational therapy is a field that never gets boring. Even if you work strictly with geriatric, pediatric or other patients, every patient has a different treatment plan. And of course life would never be boring if you ended up working with all of the cartoon characters that could use some occupational therapy.
After 20 years, you would think the littlest member of the famous yellow family would be able to talk, or at least stop using her pacifier. But maybe Maggie has a sensory processing disorder that causes her to panic without her ever-present binky. Her pacifier could be the first hint of a problem. It would be interesting to see how Maggie reacts to her environment as a toddler.
As loveable as this famous pup is, Goofy definitely has some problems with clumsiness and balance. Maybe a few therapy sessions in which he works on his gross motor skills would be helpful. While many children typically develop good posture and balance, some may need additional practice or help. It’s never too late for Goofy!
A lot of children were introduced to the term “anxiety” by the red-headed Rugrat. Poor Chuckie is constantly in a state of nerves and is afraid of everything. Although his brave friend Tommy is always there to bail him out of trouble, Chuckie may be happier with some OT intervention.
Wile E. Coyote
Imagine if we all had to work as hard for a meal as poor Wile E. Coyote. Although Wile E. may technically be above the Road Runner on the food chain, the poor guy hasn’t ever enjoyed his favorite meal of roast runner. After many injuries, including launching himself off a cliff, running into a train, getting one-ton weights dropped on his head and rockets exploding in his face, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Wile E. needed some occupational therapy after the doctors have discovered how much brain damage he has. Maybe it’s best if he just hires one to keep on hand after his work day ends.
Although The Count from Sesame Street is not technically a cartoon, he has been cartoonized (and is incapable of independent movement and speech.) Although he certainly can help children learn their numbers, The Count seems to have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in the form of a counting compulsion. Although he can certainly function, the never-ending need to count everything can be very wearisome after a while. Certainly an occupational therapy assistant can work closely with this awesome vampire to get his compulsion under control.
Once those strings were cut, Pinocchio definitely needed some help with both his fine and gross motor skills. He may have been free, but without the ability to walk or hold a pencil, the little (former) wooden boy won’t be going very far. Although Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy do what they can to help Pinocchio, a good occupational therapy assistant would not have gone amiss.
SpongeBob Squarepants may have loved the popular Batman-esque television series starring Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, but his two favorite heroes have let themselves go as they aged. Now wheelchair-bound and stuck in a retirement home, the duo must rely on others. With the work of an occupational therapy assistant, Mermaid Man would have been a lot more comfortable and a lot more independent as he aged.
Interested in learning about the various patients occupational therapy assistants work with? Check out St. Catherine’s online COTA program.