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MA Occupational Therapy, Autism

My professional aspirations are to work with children and youth who struggle with mental illness. Since the opportunities for an XXX professional are so vast, it is difficult for me to foresee where this would take me; yet, ideally I would like to be in a career that involves a substantial amount of face-to-face interaction and presents me with novel challenges that help me to grow professionally. I want to become involved in advocacy for people with mental illness and in the education of the general population about mental illness. In time, after completing a XXX and gaining additional professional experience, I would like to pursue a XXX in the same area and give thought to teaching the subject as well. The common theme that I want to incorporate in my own professional career, as well as with those who I have the privilege of assisting, is the idea of contributing to society in a meaningful way.

XXXX is my first choice for graduate study because I moved to Halifax in January of 2007 to live with family and I depend upon their support to make the most of graduate school. My fiance also lives here and I intend to stay in the city for a long time. XXXX is the only school nearby with an OT Program. Most of all, however, I am attracted to XXXX's excellent academic reputation throughout Canada. In addition, I was introduced to a professor in the Occupational Therapy department through a family contact and I have had the honour of working with Drs. XXXX and XXXX, both in the department and I have been most impressed by their outstanding knowledge and winning personalities. It would indeed be a most exciting privilege for me to become their student. While working in the laboratory, I have been greatly impressed by everyone's friendliness and good cheer and I am convinced that I would thrive in this environment. Throughout my undergraduate education, I have prepared myself for graduate study in an XXX Program, taking many Psychology, Religion and Bioethics courses that have given me a solid grasp of the Social Sciences. And I took a course in Statistics for the Natural Sciences and have also used statistical analysis in a research project that I did concerning Animal Behaviour. My current employment as a Market Research Associate also includes some statistical work. I did not get a good grade in the statistics course because I was really sick at that time, but I generally excel with numbers. I also see the work that I have done with Dr. XXXX as constituting important social science experience.

I finished my undergraduate studies in Biopharmaceutical Science with Honours, with a Concentration in Genomics (2006), in addition to my degree in molecular biology, I also studied statistics, physics, calculus, chemistry, and pharmaceuticals. My honours project involved the study of the link between genetic recombination/mutation and evolution in plants and I conducted various cloning and radioactivity experiments, choosing to work with plants rather than animals as a result of my Buddhist background. My undergraduate studies took me XXX years to complete because I was plagued by a severe illness that has taken me XXX years to completely overcome. I now feel strong enough to resume full time study.

I was raised by my father in a divided household. Both my father and my younger brother are affected by Asperger's Spectrum Disorder, a form of Autism, although my father has not been officially diagnosed. People with XXX tend to live very intellectual lives. Emotions are not their strong point. Thus, I was raised to believe that intellectual success was all important. Enjoying problem solving and science I sought a Science degree at the University of XXXX. Although I enjoyed the challenges the degree posed I was left with a fundamental dissatisfaction. As I had the opportunity to mature spiritually and emotionally and restore my physical health, I came to realize that I was missing the heart and soul component in my life and that working in a laboratory setting would not provide that missing part.

Now, therefore, I want so very much to attend your program because it represents precisely what my heart most craves, a career that continuously provides problem solving challenges but also has that other intangible aspect of human compassion. During my healing process, I attended a Day Treatment program at the XXX (20XX). There I had my first encounter with an Occupational Therapist. She was highly intelligent, caring, giving and very compassionate. I credit her with much of my success in healing and she has inspired me to pursue a career in Occupational Therapy. Giving my all to your lovely academic community would be a profound honour and I thank you for consideration of my application.

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