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OT, Masters of Occupational Therapy, Nigerian

My current work has involved a significant amount of contact with Occupational Therapists and their child patients who suffer learning and communication disabilities. I have been deeply impressed with the dedication of the therapists and the effectiveness of their painstaking work. In my country of birth, Nigeria, the study and availability of Occupational Therapy for such patients is rare. It is my hope to assist in the correction of this unhappy situation.

My ambition is to acquire the skills and knowledge to equip me to establish an Occupational Therapy clinic in Nigeria specifically for children and, ultimately, to train others in this specialism at university level in Nigeria. Although I have never formally studied the identification and treatment of childhood disabilities, I have undertaken fairly wide reading on the subject since taking up my present post and developing an interest in the field. Such study has made me aware that the early diagnosis of learning and communication disability, and especially that of autism, is essential to enable early intervention in order to achieve the optimum long-term outcome. I would seek to spread awareness of early indicators of potential disability to parents, carers and nurses in Nigeria, indeed throughout Africa, along with an understanding of basic treatments where specialist treatment is unavailable or unaffordable.

My working life to date has involved either working with children and young people or healthcare or both. I have enjoyed my career as a health care administrator and know that good administration is vital to the welfare of patients. However, while the world is not short of good administrators, it maybe does lack enough people who feel as strongly as I do about the welfare of emotionally disabled children. I have worked as a teacher and have written several successful children’s books which are popular in Nigeria. I feel that I have a natural affinity with children and ability to empathize and understand them and I have a strong desire to help them in a direct way and to enable and train others to do the same.

My work to date has called for skills that are applicable to the field that I seek to join. I have analytical and planning skills that are certainly valuable in this field, I know the importance of accurate record keeping, I have well developed communication skills and have been involved in the training and mentoring of junior staff. I also have an appreciation of how a medical facility operates and its various departments interact and cooperate for the benefit of patients. The most notable advantage of my current work is that it has provided the opportunity to see the enormous benefits that disabled children derive from Occupational Therapy and the dedication and professionalism of the therapy providers whom I now seek to emulate.

I have happily worked, studied and socialized with people of many ethnic and social backgrounds, and ages. I am sociable person with a well-developed sense of humor who seeks to respect and help those around me. I enjoy sharing knowledge of my own culture and in understanding others.

I have had a successful academic career and anticipate no problems in succeeding in, what I understand will be, a demanding and challenging program of study. My particular interest is in the treatment of child autism and I would be interested in assisting in research into this particular disability. I am aware that promising developments are being made in the early and accurate diagnosis of autism such as the use of ‘emotion detection’ software and I hope to be able to help research effective means of diagnosis and treatments.

I realize that my decision to pursue study and a career in this field has come fairly late in my life but I feel fortunate that I have identified that field in which I can apply all my academic ability, personal characteristics and passion for the subject to help children especially those in Africa. It will be my intention, as always, to excel rather than merely succeed, and can promise the reader very enthusiastic and diligent participation in the program for my own benefit, that of my fellow students, the faculty, the profession and of my future patients.

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