autism awareness,  Autism parenting,  Autism Spectrum Disorder,  COVID-19 Autism,  occupational therapy

Submitting my USC and CSUDH OTCAS Applications in the midst of COVID-19

It was August 23, 2019 when I decided I would pursue Occupational Therapy. It was a crazy whirlwind. Within the same day, I registered for the waitlists of three classes at El Camino College, all of which were prerequisites for the master’s programs in OT for both Cal State Dominguez Hills and University of Southern California. I took a chance and went to the first classes three days later to appeal for slots and I got all the classes I needed. A year later, I’ve finished seven prerequisites, taken the GRE, (took it March 8, just right before the COVID-19 lockdown happened) and had about 110 OT observation hours from Pediatric Therapy Network and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. My journey in preparing to apply for OT schools confirmed what I already knew: I was called to Occupational Therapy. I had never known about OT before my son’s ASD diagnosis, but slowly, going to each OT appointment, talking to his OTs about his progress and seeing how much it made him better, I began to desire to help kids on the spectrum in the same way.

When I was finally ready to submit my OT applications, I felt a strong sense of accomplishment. I told myself I would finish all the requirements in a year and I did it by June 2020. I am turning 40 on February 2021, and I wanted to get my new career started as soon as possible. Finishing all my classes online in the midst of a pandemic was definitely challenging. But in a way, it kept me going. It seemed that the world was falling apart but I had a goal to achieve. I focused on a bright future while doing what I could right now. Now I have completed my applications for only two schools, CSUDH and USC, and to say that I am anxious about the results is an understatement. I know I did my best. I cannot wait till November-December when acceptance letters will be sent out. I am excited to add an OT section to this blog once my OT career officially starts.

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