Occupational Therapists play a key role in our classroom teams at The Wolf School and help to bring our Immersion Model© to life! In honor of Occupational Therapy Month this April, we’re using this month’s We Are Wolf interview to introduce you to one of our incredible OTs – Priscilla Nova!
1. Can you briefly tell us about your background before coming to Wolf?
I’ve always juggled multiple jobs at once…I guess I like being busy?! Before Wolf, I worked for Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) early intervention for 8 years, where I serviced clients throughout Rhode Island and coached caregivers in their homes on strategies to help develop their child’s fine motor, gross motor, social, and feeding skills. During my time at Family Service, I was the level II OT fieldwork educator, where I mentored OT grad students, one of whom was Becca Olivo! I also worked alongside Dr. Waldorf, OD, for 6 years, providing vision therapy and treating individuals with ocular motor needs.
2. What motivated you to want to become an OT?
I knew I wanted to be in the medical field at a very early age. After being in a car accident at the age of 10 and sustaining a back injury, I required extensive therapy, and my passion for helping others get back on track was born! I started my college career on a pre-med track, then switched my focus to occupational therapy after nannying for an OT.
3. How long have you worked at Wolf and what’s your favorite part about working here?
This is my 4th year at Wolf. I absolutely love the flexibility that I have in bringing my creativity to the table while planning lessons and tailoring interventions to meet each student’s needs.
4. What do you think is the most misunderstood part about being an OT?
In my opinion, the most misunderstood part about being an OT is understanding how broad our scope of practice truly is. Many individuals think of OT and automatically think of rehab hospitals, the upper extremities (arms and hands), and relearning how to complete daily activities (e.g. dressing, cooking, etc.). Although OTs certainly assist with these important areas of need, our biggest impact is in helping individuals gain independence across ALL daily routines, which can be extremely diverse! In education, for example, the role of an OT crosses multiple disciplines as we play a crucial role in helping students regulate their emotions, advocate for themselves, organize their workspace, engage in positive social exchanges, and participate in physical education.
5. Who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my closest family members. My mom has always shown me how to lead with love and a big heart, my father taught me the importance of determination and having a strong work ethic, and my husband’s encouragement pushes me to seize the moment and reach for the stars!
We are so lucky to have so many talented OTs like Priscilla at Wolf! Through passion and creativity, her expertise helps our students truly shine. Thanks for all you do, Priscilla! To learn more about other Wolf Staff, read some of our past We Are Wolf interviews!