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Unforeseen Discovery about Self through work with Mentally Disabled Youth

Teraye Walker

When I received the clinical scholar scholarship, the idea of working with children presented itself. The experience that I have had in my field placement is one that I would have never imagined. During the field placement interview, the supervisor stated that working with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities has to be your passion. When I left the interview, I thought to myself - “this is not my passion.” My only thought concerning my passion was that I wanted to do interpersonal practice in mental health. Within the first few weeks of my field placement, I worked with the clinician assisting a child diagnosed with Angelman’s Syndrome. During that visit, the clinician and I taught this child how to sign to request food. I have also had the opportunity to do psycho-education with parents concerning their children that have been diagnosed with autism. These are just a few experiences that that I have had in my field placement. The blessing in going into a field like social work is that the possibilities are endless.  When considering your field placement, always keep an open mind. You might just find your passion behind an unexpected door.

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