Occupational Therapy doctoral student’s apprenticeship in Nigeria

Before starting her occupational therapy graduate studies at Washington University, Odochi “Odo” Nwabara, OTD ’15, knew she wanted to pursue an apprenticeship outside of the U.S.

“I was born in Chicago, but my parents are originally from Nigeria. My father came to the U.S. when he was a teenager. We have family in Lagos, Nigeria, so I reached out to my aunt to help me find a place there that works with children with disabilities,” explains Nwabara. “She found The Learning Place Centre (TLPC), which treats children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and provides education for their families and caregivers.”

As there are very few treatment centers in Nigeria, the majority of individuals with autism are not diagnosed and do not receive any form of intervention. The staff at TLPC treats approximately 30 clients each term. Treatment plans are customized to help clients overcome their unique daily challenges and to empower them to live independently in their community. Nwabara worked alongside occupational therapist Yusuf Aliu, who was her direct supervisor during her five-week apprenticeship.

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