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  • Miss Farrah

Early Intervention, School Based Occupational Therapist, Kelly Burcher

For many the month of April means the beginning of spring, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or bringing awareness and acceptance to Autism. While all those listed are very special occasions, I am going to talk about another special occasion that is very dear to my heart. April is also Occupational Therapy Month. A profession that I am proud of, for I am a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant who is fortunate to love what I do. This got me thinking of the person who I was going to spotlight for April. I asked my friend and coworker Occupational Therapist Kelly Burcher.

Anyone who knows Kelly will tell you what a big heart she has, and it shows through her work. I am so honored to be a part of Kelly's team working beside her to provide occupational therapy services for our students. She is a wealth of knowledge and experience who I am grateful to consult and brainstorm with on a weekly basis. We wear many different hats in the occupational therapy field; however, I feel our detective hat is one that we use most often. Trying to figure out how best to meet our children's needs. Kelly has also helped me a few times outside of the school setting with my sensory and movement classes at Lacey's Performing Arts Studio. Regardless the setting Kelly is passionate to help children and families. The school districts that she serves and the early intervention program she is involved with is blessed to have this amazing woman working with children here in Tuscarawas County. Please take a few minutes to read all about Kelly and the Occupational Therapy field.

1.) Tell me your name and a little bit about yourself professionally and personally (like what you enjoy doing when you’re not working)?

Hi! My name is Kelly Burcher and I am an occupational therapist. I have been an OT for 21 years! I am married, I have 3 sons, and I have 2 dogs. We love to watch sports, take vacations, and go out to eat! 

2. Where do you work? 

I am employed by the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center

3. What is your role? How long have you been in this role?

I have worked at the ECOESC for 21 years and have worked in many schools in the county. I am currently the OT for Dover City Schools, Indian Valley local Schools, Starlight School, and Early Intervention.

4. Can you explain to the readers what Occupational Therapy is?

What Is Occupational Therapy? Everyone has an occupation or job. A child's occupation is to grow, learn, do schoolwork, and play. Occupational therapists help children learn how to do these things if they are having trouble using their muscles, paying attention, or understanding directions. 

5. Where did you go to OT school?

I went to school at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. LOTS of snow! 

6. Why did you decide to become an OT?

I always knew I wanted to work with children in some capacity. I was able to observe a school based occupational therapist when I was in high school, and I knew it was the right path for me. 

7. What’s a typical day or week for you at your job?

A typical week for me includes attending meetings, doing home visits for early intervention, observing students in their classrooms, and talking with my co-workers. I also have daily paperwork/computer work to complete! 

8. What are some of the challenges of your role?

I would say my biggest challenge is not having enough time to do everything I want to do to help my students.

9. What are the rewards? 

I love working with children, and it is so rewarding to see them become successful and independent in their school or home environment! 

10. What would you recommend to someone who is considering going into a role like yours?

I would recommend job shadowing or observing if possible! There are many job opportunities in different settings in the field of occupational therapy! Seeing the different settings will help you find your niche. 

11. Do you have any words of wisdom for the readers?

I try to keep a positive mindset and be grateful for small moments every day! 


12. How can people reach you with questions or find out more about your profession?

Email is great!

12. Please feel free to share anything else you would like to share with readers.

A note about Miss Farrah: I have worked with Miss Farrah for 18 years! She is an OT assistant, and I couldn’t do my job without her, or the other assistants I work with! Thanks for asking me to contribute to your Blog! 

Happy Occupational Therapy Month!!!!


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