Loma Linda University

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Arezou Salamat, MOT
Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
School of Allied Health Professions
No matter where I have been in my life…age, geographically, even spiritually…everything has always led to working with children. Sometimes it wasn’t intentional but always purposeful.
 
Just because it’s a cliché, doesn’t mean it isn’t true: 
Yes, I am so lucky to have a career that I love while I'm playing with children.
 
Each day I have the opportunity to support children at their occupations…being kids.  Yes, that means we play. The children and I also get a chance to eat, brush teeth, play dress up games, make sand castles and ride scooters. In other words, we do the things all the ‘other kids’ do. My goal is to support and encourage their typical development, and that is every parents dream.
 
Life is about connections. From the moment we are born, we connect. As adults we connect with family, friends, co-workers, clients and even strangers. I believe establishing and reinforcing that connection with a child and his/her family emotionally and spiritually is the first step to success. I utilize those connections when I work with children. These connections allow me to develop trust and healthy relationships with my clients to meet their personal goals. Ultimately, this makes our interactions more productive and meaningful. That success can mean an improved quality of life --- it doesn’t get any better than that.
 
Occupational therapy is at the intersection of art, creativity and science. Working with occupational therapy students in the classroom and in the field allows me to share my interpretation of this connection and how it can benefit children. I’ve also know that it’s a two-way street; I learn too.