Babies! OT students enjoy hands-on pediatric assessment practice

On June 6, 2022, Wayne State Master of Occupational Therapy students in Assistant Professor Kim Banfill's class had some very special visitors: Babies.

Each year, the advanced course Pediatrics Special Topics (OT 7410) provides an in-depth view of models of practice for children and families, feeding and oral motor intervention, sensory processing and self-regulation, research and intervention for children with developmental disorders and psychosocial dysfunction, neurodevelopmental treatment, behavior management, and adjunct modalities for pediatric diagnosis.

Banfill's approach to the course is typically very hands-on, but due to COVID-19 she was unable to incorporate "baby lab" sessions into the classes offered in 2020 and 2021. "It was so nice to finally have some babies back in the classroom again!" she said. 

Payton is the 4-month-old daughter of Assistant Clinical Professor Christine Kivlen; infant Henri ("Hank") is the son of 2021 OT graduates Madison Bartlett and Nick Morris. Toddler Eleanor is the niece of OT student Sara Van Vechten ("Auntie Sara").

Students learned to assess reflexes, developmental milestones, righting and equilibrium reactions that relate to OT evaluation and intervention in the pediatric population.

The tiny subjects graciously humored the class's maneuvers until it was clearly nap time. The complete photo album is available on Flickr.

Payton with mom

Hank with parents

Eleanor on swing

Hank on rocker

Payton on rocker with Kim

Eleanor gets on swing

Hank on the ball

Payton on her side

Hank on his tummy

Eleanor laying on swing

Eleanor on ball

Eleanor rolling over ball

Hank laughing with mom and dad

Payton baby feet

Kim with Hank

Hank with dad

Payton passed out

Squirmy Eleanor

An occupational therapist helps patients engage in everyday activities that are important to them, using a variety of productive and creative activities. The WSU Applebaum Master of Occupational Therapy program application cycle runs from Aug. 1-Nov. 1, with classes starting the following May. Learn more by attending a college information meeting, held for prospective students at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

Return to news