My Clinical Rotation with Easterseals as a Physical Therapy Student

Janelle Brubaker, Doctor of Physical Therapy Student and Easterseals Intern

As we are coming to the end of Physical Therapy month, I am thrilled to get the chance to share my experience with Easterseals! My name is Janelle Brubaker and I am a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Western Michigan University. I am currently in the middle of my third full-time clinical rotation here in Columbus, OH, and ecstatic to be back in my home state for a while. I spend half of my week in the Early Intervention domain here at Easterseals and the other half of the week in the school-based PT domain at some of the local elementary and high schools.

Physical Therapy in the early intervention setting is targeted towards children who are between the ages of 1-3 years old who have a developmental delay or disability. We evaluate the gross motor skills and functional development of the children and then work with those who require our services to meet their milestones and keep up with their peers. 

Easterseals has various equipment used for therapies that children find fun and entertaining that are meant for development.

Some examples of the milestones that we look at to be observed by the age of 3 years are:

  1. Ability to walk and run independently
  2. Throw a ball forward, climb up and down stairs with an alternating stepping pattern
  3. Squat down to the ground to pick up a toy without losing their balance

At Easterseals we work directly with the students on a regular basis but also spend time meeting with guardians, teachers, and caretakers to educate and coach them on how they can best assist and nurture their child’s physical development.

Tracy with Janelle as they get ready to parade around Easterseals for the fall dress-up parade

I am very thankful for the amazing opportunity to learn so much here at Easterseals from Tracy Jungwirth, DPT, my clinical instructor, the early intervention specialists, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, and other staff here. It has been such a unique and rewarding experience working with the incredible kiddos here. I will carry the memories and lessons they have taught me into my future career as a PT.

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