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Occupational therapy students learn hands-on skills at renowned OT clinic

UNE Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) students at the OTA-Koomar Center in Newton, Massachusetts, on Feb. 8.
UNE Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) students travelled to the at the OTA-Koomar Center in Newton, Massachusetts, on Feb. 8.

February 14, 2020

A group of more than 50 students in the University of New England’s Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (M.S.O.T.) program recently travelled to an internationally recognized occupational therapy clinic, where they participated in lab work to further their understanding of sensory integration and processing.

Forty-nine students from the M.S.O.T Class of 2021 and two students from the Class of 2020 ventured to the OTA-Koomar Center in Newton, Massachusetts, on Feb. 8, to enhance their participation in the lab course Occupational Therapy Interventions for Children and Youth. 

There, the students participated in a two-hour lab related to sensory integration, a practice that aims to help individuals with sensory processing difficulties by using specialized equipment and advanced training to address sensory processing barriers that interfere with everyday life.

In the lab, UNE students analyzed sensory integration equipment and methods to determine what sensory systems are targeted with each piece of equipment and how that sensory input relates to day-to-day function and engagement in occupations. Students were given the opportunity to experience the equipment for themselves, as well as learn from occupational therapists employed by the Koomar Center.

“The trip provided deeper insight into the frame of reference of sensory integration and addressed how goals in a clinic relate to function within natural settings,” said Kris Winston, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, program director and associate professor of occupational therapy.

The OTA-Koomar Center is internationally recognized for its innovation, research, treatment, and evaluation of children, youth, and adults with sensory integration and sensory processing challenges. 

The center was named for the late Jane Koomar, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, who served as a mentor to Elizabeth Crampsey, Ed.D, OTR/L, BCPR, assistant clinical professor of occupational therapy at UNE.

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