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SMU Offers Free Occupational Therapy Pediatric Clinic

Samuel Merritt University

Media Relations Contact:
Elizabeth Valente 510.725.7980
evalente@samuelmerritt.edu
MEDIA RELEASE
August 31, 2009

SMU Offers Free Occupational Therapy Pediatric Clinic

(OAKLAND, Calif., August 31, 2009) Beginning this fall the Occupational Therapy Department at Samuel Merritt University is offering ten weekly sessions of occupational therapy for children between 6 months to 16 years of age.

WHAT: The Sixth Annual OT Pediatric Clinic is staffed entirely by occupational therapy students, supervised by a licensed therapist. The pediatric clinic is providing early intervention for children and a place for students to get hands-on experience in their field of study.

WHY: Occupational therapists help children improve their ability to perform self-care tasks, engage in play and social activities, and participate in academic activities. Research shows that early intervention is best because the brain is more capable of change during that period of time.

"Children enrolled in this clinic typically have difficulty with performing at age level in one or more of the following areas: self-care skills including dressing, self-feeding, grooming, bathing, or toileting; play skills including manipulation of toys, initiation of independent play, and engaging in play with other children; and pre-academic skills including writing, cutting with scissors, and organizing work space and materials," explains Ginny Gibson MS, OTR/L, CHT, Assistant Professor at Samuel Merritt University Master of Occupational Therapy Program. "Sometimes, when certain problems stand between a child and normal play, the help of an occupational therapist is needed."

WHEN: Sessions start on Wednesday, September 23 at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 PM

WHERE: Samuel Merritt University - 450 30th Street (Lower Level One) Oakland, CA 94609

CONTACT: Drew Ward, Administrative Assistant, Occupational Therapy Department at 510-869-8925 or Ginny Gibson at ggibson@samuelmerritt.edu.

Samuel Merritt University, located on 'Pill Hill' in Oakland, California, is celebrating 100 years of educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities. Nearly 1,300 students are enrolled at SMU, with campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Mateo. The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine. For more information visit www.samuelmerritt.edu.