I started my internship at Riverside Early Intervention in Needham Massachusetts on June the 2nd and on June 13 I completed my first 50hrs!!!
Riverside Early Intervention provides young children ages 0 to 3 with a wide variety of therapeutic services. These children may be having difficulties walking, speaking, interacting with others or may be cognitively delayed. Riverside focuses in helping these children develop their physical and mental skills at an early and crucial stage in their lives, so that in the future, they can live a better life. The program involves a wide variety of professionals including social workers, a physical therapist and a speech pathologist focusing on programs that offer home based therapy, group therapy and evaluations. In my opinion the work that the professionals do at Riverside is priceless because changing a child’s life for the better involves more than the financial aspect. They show caring, love, interest and a genuine feeling of seeing these kids overcome their challenges.
I have been interested in working with children with disabilities since I was young. This is because I have had personal experiences with family members who grew up with me who have physical and mental disabilities. I always thought that I could make a change. In the spring semester of 2014 I spent time volunteering at the Lemberg Children’s Center at Brandeis University. I talked to two early intervention workers that frequented the daycare. We discussed internships relating to social work, and the two women referred me to the head supervisor and internship coordinator at Riverside Community Care Center in Needham, Massachusetts. I reached out to the head coordinator over email and she told me more about the type of work that she does at Riverside. After two months of communication, she interviewed me and gave me an internship at the Intervention Center.
My major responsibilities at this internship involve working alongside a multidisciplinary team within the Riverside Community Care Center, treating children from birth to age 3 and servicing their families living in neighboring communities. I work closely with these children as well as their parents by participating in child-focused and parent-focused groups, which provide parents with training on how to respond to their child’s needs. I develop curricula and therapeutic activities to further increase their development. This position also requires me to record and monitor children’s progress while communicating these results to clinicians. Additionally, I prepare classroom space to accommodate every child’s special circumstances.
This summer I’m expecting to educate myself on a broad variety of childhood disorders. My career goal is to become a clinical psychologist with a focus on child development. The training that I am receiving at the Riverside Community Care Center is helping me to gain insight and skills that will ultimately help me to treat and diagnose children and adolescents with psychological disorders. Also, personally, I want to increase my understanding of family dynamics and intervention methods that are used to assist children with different disabilities. After the summer ends and this experience is over, I am hoping to have gained experience and understanding of the psychology of children, especially those with different kinds of disabilities. I am also hoping that this internship will be one of the biggest stepping-stone of my college career that will ultimately grant me a spot in the professional world.
Jean Perez, ’15