Summer Centered: Rachel Spitzer '20 Lends a Helping Hand to Children
The psychology major has a summer internship at Riverside Early Intervention, a center for children with developmental delays and neurological disorders.
Rachel Spitzer ‘20 has always had a passion for helping children, and this summer she is putting that passion into practice. The psychology major is interning at Riverside Early Intervention, a Massachusetts organization that specializes in targeted therapeutic intervention for infants with developmental delays and neurological disorders.
Sponsored by the Center for Career and Professional Advising’s Gertrude Heller Memorial Grant, Spitzer is taking on a variety of assignments, giving her an array of perspectives from which to view the field of early intervention.
“I most directly engage with the children during group play sessions, where I guide children to follow directions, facilitate peer engagement, and encourage the use of language,” she said. “I am often responsible for writing some of the progress notes for children in the group after each session. I also get the opportunity to attend weekly staff meetings on a variety of topics and observe individual therapy sessions for children in their homes.”
Riverside is able to offer Spitzer a view of several distinct forms of pediatric therapies because of its multipronged approach. The center specializes in support that can include “physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, social work, psychiatry, [and] work with developmental specialists.”
Since the rising senior aspires to become a neonatal nurse practitioner, her summer internship offers an informative vantage point from which to view her potential career.
“Many of the children who spend their first weeks and months in the neonatal intensive care unit then face significant neurological and other developmental challenges, and receive early intervention services,” she said. “I have appreciated the opportunity to develop a better understanding of how treatment continues for these vulnerable children after they are discharged from the hospital.”
For Spitzer, however, the focal point of her experience is less about where its taking her in comparison to whatever positive impact it allows her to create in the present moment.
“My work has expanded my understanding of and appreciation for human services work. It has reminded me that my passion lies in caring for those around me, especially young children who often can’t care for and advocate for themselves.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.