Tuesday, July 31, 2012
So...I made a video based on what I keep in a little box for when I am a real occupational therapist and not just a student...but I know there is lots I haven't thought of. So my question to you all is....what is in YOUR OT toolbox? Via text or pictures or video, let me know...I'll post it. I'd LOVE to get more ideas.
One day I'll actually get good at setting up videos, but for now, y'all gotta bear with my learning curve.
Here was the stuff I talked about, if I remember correctly, in no particular order:
1. Duct tape
2. Nylon cable ties
3. Jumbo playing cards
4. A laundry detergent cap
5. Non-skid liner, often called dycem
6. rubber bands
7. Play money
8. Dollar store occupation-based ideas - like a map puzzle for people who like to travel to use to talk about, or sort, or do...or whatever.
Oh no I'm blanking on what else! Guess you gotta watch the video to find out the rest. LET ME KNOW WHAT IS IN YOUR TOOLBOX! What can you not live without?
I already know my friend Burt is "cogitating" on a mini video to do on basic REAL tools he thinks all OTs should carry around...he is my tool hero. And his 17-year old daughter, Sarah, is my textbook hero because I show her diagrams out of my books (like Trombley, Pendretti, Willard & Spackman...) and make her teach me things. For example, we learned in an adaptive activities of daily life lab the other day some one-handed dressing techniques for button-down shirts, but then I was confused by the diagrams in the book and it would have taken me a while to figure it out, and so I showed them to her and she taught me in about 2 seconds because her brain likes diagrams and mine doesn't. I've already decided she should follow me around for the rest of my life helping me with environmental modifications and anything else requiring a physics/math/3-D artistic brain. I know my strengths and weaknesses...I don't plan to work in a setting that requires a lot of those things!
Ok I'm gonna go check my laundry now and convince myself it's going to be okay. I have a serious phobia about washing machines and dryers. I'm always convinced they are either going to flood or blow up. I'm serious. I have no issue with flying across the country by myself, walking up to strangers to ask a question, dealing with insurance, or being in a mildly scary part of town...all the stuff that scares a lot of people....but get me near a blender, a microwave, a washing machine/dryer, or any other machine that plugs in and makes noise, and I am SCARED!
Okay,I totally wasted way too long going off on multiple tangents. Probably procrastination from having to go face the scary laundry. Dum dum DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
Monday, July 30, 2012
The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Often times we think of video gaming as something sedentary (sitting on the couch comes to mind), but several consoles have started reshaping the way we view video games -- namely Nintendo's Wii and Xbox Kinect. These video game consoles have more than just fun applications with your friends on a Friday night. Now, health professionals are finding new ways of using these devices to help people with illnesses and general health. Check out this infographic from Big Fish Games that talks a little bit more about how video games are improving our health.
Monday, July 23, 2012
I have deja vu, I think I've posted this before, but now I have a new system so it won't happen again of re-posting pictures I find in Picasa. Anyway, great pre-writing skill. Take your little ones to the beach and practice vertical and horizontal lines!! :)
I think it's interesting to see how people's OT journeys progress from the pre-OT days. So this is a sweet girl who e-mailed me a long time ago and I just got an update on her. She said I could post her journey if I got rid of her name. :)
I decided to move from Washington state (where I've lived forever) to North Dakota for OT school! Well, hopefully! I am finishing my last pre-reqs this year, and will apply to OT school in December. I decided on this school because it was the most affordable for me (actually cheaper than staying in state, if you can believe that!). It's been fun, the last few months, doing volunteer hours in preparation for applying to Grad school. After every facility I spend time at, I realize I am even more sure that this is the field I am meant for!
I have also been in touch with your pal Eric (Army OT guy). I had no idea they had a program like that, and it sounds pretty sweet. So hopefully I will get into the grad program at UND, then my next focus will be doing well so that I can hopefully go through the Army's DScOT program! I don't know, maybe I have some lofty goals – but I guess it's better to dream big!
Although this is a common position to find a toddler sitting in, it comes with many implications of why it is not good. For those children who move in and out of the position for short periods of time, it can be looked upon as just a typical playing position that the child will outgrow. However, for many of the children we see in the therapy world, it can have a greater effect on a child's overall development "W-sitting" inhibits exploration, does not allow for proper strengthening of the trunk, and keeps children confined to play only in midline. Effects of long-term "w-sitting" include hamstring tightness and tibial torsion and even hip dislocation. In addition, because it inhibits trunk rotation it also causes overall decreased balance and trunk control. The lack of trunk mobility causes children who utilize this position on a regular basis the inability to cross midline and explore as much during play.
One of the most common reasons children hang out in this position is low tone. Early on when children begin to crawl, you often find them stopping in the "w" position regardless of tone issues because they require a wider base of support at this stage. However, as they get stronger, you should be able to see them transition into a proper ring sitting position with ease. For the children who present with lower tone, they still require a wider base of support and will utilize a "w" due to ease, comfort, and stability. In addition, many of the children who do "w-sit" also present with tighter hamstrings, making it difficult and uncomfortable to sit in long sitting, "crisscross applesauce", or ring sitting.
Ways to naturally work on correcting this it to utilize a toddler chair for sitting activities as much as possible, encouraging a 90-degree position of the hips and knees. When using larger chairs where the child's feet do not touch the ground, the use of a stool will help obtain this position. Many children will be able to correct this position with verbal cuing, so you may often hear a parent, teacher or therapist use the phrase, "fix your legs" to cue the child to choose a different sitting position.
Ultimately, to help children move out of this position, choosing activities that strengthen the trunk and improve overall stability are beneficial. Those would include things such as the use of an exercise ball, yoga, and balance activities.
Exercise/therapy ball activities are great for trunk strengthening; from performing activities while sitting on the ball that encourage trunk rotation to using the ball for completing sit-ups, these are excellent ways to engage trunk muscles and work on balance. Activities performed in high kneel, such as drawing on a draw erase board or completing a bean bag target throw activity will also nicely engage that trunk muscles for strengthening. In addition, using a balance board for activities in sitting, such as completing a puzzle, or standing to play catch or Zoomball will also achieve this. Kid yoga programs, including Yogarilla from Super Duper are a fun way to introduce children to the overall core strengthening and attention improving art of yoga.
For those low tone children with tight hamstrings, performing leg stretches or utilizing target toss activities with obtaining bean bags from the floor or low stool with straight legs will help to loosen up the muscles. In turn, you find children are able to maintain the position of "criss-cross applesauce" with more ease.
Therefore, although "w-sitting" is very common among all children, similar to nail biting, it is one of those habits that if addressed early can really making a difference in overall development, especially for children with lower tone.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
So I had to go through security with fake flowers and a tiara. I ended up scarring myself with the tiara, literally, as it was pressed against my upper arm while I ran through the airport. So I have a tiara scar now.
Anita (virtual OT - in pajamas), me, Miss OTPF in pageantry wear, Erik, Army OT guy in uniform, Chris Alterio, OT business owner in a suit, and Cheryl, sweet Cheryl, in a lovely dress as our leader.
Libby, a precious lovely blog reader and now a wonderful friend, who let me stay with her and her OT classmate Erica at conference, guarding our stuff...
Love you Frankie (we actually met him at conference, he was one of Anita's students). He's so chill, on Sunday morning we were in bed and he knocks on our door and just climbs into my bed to play on his phone while we waited on the other girls. :)
So a booth gave me this free instant snow bin to take home with me, which luckily TSA allowed in my checked luggage, and I love it, and I put a bunch of my monsters in it, but then I took them back out. Because most of my kids didn't like the texture, and it was messy, and worst of all, the snow smelled SO BAD!!!! But to be fair I think if I got the snow and did it outside and didn't put plastic things in it and didn't let a thousand kids touch it (this was the sample stuff they let people touch all day), it would be pretty cool. It lasts for WEEKS at least, it feels like real snow almost, and it stays cool to the touch, even at room temperature. So pretty cool stuff to try, I think. :)
So, I have all those shark grabber things where you pinch the handle to open/close the shark's mouth, and I am going to float duckies in water and then have them grab them. And those little duckies I got out of those $50 cent containers at a shopping market cuz they were super adorable, whether they float or not. I'll use those with tongs.
These are those prickly pattern boards where you put beads on them and I guess melt them, but I won't take it to the melting phase. Just have them maybe do an outline, or maybe make a pattern and have them copy it, or add a face to that weird horse puppy character, or who knows.
I have a tong fetish. In the sense that I try to collect as many types of tongs and tweezers as possible for my kids to use, and I found these in Norway, old fashioned wooden tongs. Great tool for the kids to work on hand strengthening, coordination, etc, but also fun!
I got these at a museum in Norway even though they are in English, because the bugs in there are pretty high quality and cool, many of my little OT boys love bugs and especially like weird bugs, and there were plenty of weirdos in this package.
I got these at Publix. Sword picks, mini forks, and flamingos. Hard to see, yes my photography sucks, sorry. But again great for putting in styrofoam, or using in clay, etc etc.
My kids love Stretchables more than almost anything else. They always clamor to keep one as a prize. I sometimes give in, but try not to give in too often as they add up in price. I don't manage to find stretchable-animals too often (and when I do its usually lizards or frogs) so when I do find them I stock up. I got three packages of these once I saw the colors/shapes were a little different in each package. We mostly use these for tongs, and sometimes we use them as our invisible game friends, ie when it's just me and a kid and we want to play a game with like 3 or 4 people, we designate stretchables as people and they take turns....
All of these things were bought either in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Denmark, or Norway, lol. Some of it I could probably find back in CA, but if I saw it and hadn't seen it before, I got it just in case. I seriously have an obsession with buying stuff for my OT kids to use!!!
I have never tried this with my kids before, but I have certainly seen many other OTs use this kind of thing. Where you use repeated stencils, kind of, to make a complicated looking drawing.
These are actually golf tees in the shape of Eiffel tower. I love golf tees for use in styrofoam. Or who knows. Somehow, they will get used. :)
Random cheap pencil I bought in Norway, figured the crazy erasers would make it a little heavier plus be "cool" as sometimes the best way to get a child to write is just to provide a cool writing utensil. :)
This Rubik's cube was super cheap so I got it, and then a friend gave me this tiny little metal puzzle. I think it might end up being a nice fidget.
That yellow pencil is just a giant eraser, the square thing is also an eraser but it's a cube that comes apart so you can put it back together, and then feet paper clips. All just stuff that may or may not end up in use for OT sessions, if nothing else than for novelty.
This is one of those "stay fresh containers" you can buy for vegetables, where the top is clear and comes off this one is a stay fresh tomato one, but I will probably use it as an apple and have kids put "worms" in it using tongs. Try to not be too overly impressed with my crazy mad awesome photography skills. :x My friend was like, want me to get you some different backdrops etc and I was like no, I've made a conscious choice to have crappy pictures so that I can get them done fast....
I carry sooo many tiny items to work on fine motor, and have tons of self-made "kits" ie fine motor kits, sensorimotor kits, visual motor kits...and I think having these bags will be awesome to put together visible kits that don't take up a lot of room. I think they have L, XL, and XXL. I haven't tried them yet, but I go home Tuesday and plan to start organizing toys ASAP. I just saw these at Publix and bought them to try them out!
This looks cool :)
Saturday, July 21, 2012
This heart-warming film tells the story of a young woman with Downs syndrome (Alejandra Manzo) who lives a happy, routine life in Buenos Aires where she is meticulously cared for by her mother Dora (Academy Award-nominee Norma Aleandro). One tragic morning in 1994, everything changes when Anita is left alone, confused, and helpless after the nearby Argentine Israelite Mutual Association is bombed. As Anita wanders the city, she learns not only to care for herself but touches the lives of those around her.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
I skimmed this PDF and I was impressed with some of the things it covers, that you don't typically see in print. A lot of it had to do with personal care attendants and whether or not they were comfortable with helping with sexuality, ranging from masturbation to positioning the person for sex, clean-up before and after, etc. Very intriguing. This PDF isn't specifically meant for OTs, but I think has a lot of relevant points that OTs should be aware of.
This document (see link) came out in 2011 on attendant services and sexuality and I thought you would find it useful ...(edited for brevity) But this document covers a real issue and is based on research in Sudbury and Toronto.
August 19, 2010- the very day I learned of the results. On my ride to go to the neuropsychiatrist's office, I had a couple conflicting thoughts. On one hand, I wished my hunches were right because it would have explained a lot of my struggles in fieldwork. On the other hand, I didn't want to be right because I would not know how to face my OT peers, as well as accepting the identity of being a differently able individual. Two hours or so later, it was the moment of truth- I indeed do have autism, as I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
I was relieved for a second. But, that sense of relief turned into sadness really quickly. When I came home, I told what my parents what happened. Then, I quickly went retreated to my room. All I thought about were- how would I tell my classmates that I failed my first level 2 fieldwork, and how would I tell my classmates that I have Asperger's?
A few days later, my second year of occupational therapy school officially began. As I expected, almost every classmates were beaming with joy. But, I was feeling miserable and sad. Because they were too overjoyed of seeing each other, almost all of them didn't realize that I was desperately in need of someone to talk to me. Making matters worse, there wasn't any good spots to tell people privately about what had transpired with me.
Knowing that I need to get the depressed feeling off my chest, I told some of my classmates what had happened to me through Facebook. All the classmates I talked to were shocked of the diagnosis. After all, they all had seen the strides I made socially when I was with them. Moreover, they realized how much fortitude I showed just to attend class with them during the early weeks of our second year of OT school.
At the meantime, I was planning my own recovery, as my parents left me in charge because they felt that I know a lot more about autism than they do. So, I first decided to seek occupational therapy services, which I had been getting prior to the diagnosis through the Lifestyle Redesign for College Students Program at USC. Then, the occupational therapist I was seeing at USC suggested me to go to a social confidence group that was offered by the counseling services also at USC.
Initially, I felt ashamed of the idea of going to a social confidence group. After all, I felt that others in the group might have wondered why an occupational therapy school student would ever be a member of a social confidence group. But knowing that I had to do whatever I can to be a competent OT, I reluctantly accepted the idea eventually. Fortunately, the other participants in the group never judged me. In fact, because I have relatively less anxiety compared to them, where I was at baseline (before I started with the group) actually was a point where these participants wanted to be.
Then, two key things happened proved to be pivotal for my recovery. First, I stumbled upon a song called The Story Song by a former childhood cancer survivor named Paige Armstrong. After listening to that song several times, I realized how lucky I am comparing to a lot of individuals with autism when they first learned the diagnosis. I had some tools to help manage my symptoms (through my OT training). I had a great support system (with my OT classmates and folks at my church). I accomplished a lot (I got to OT school without needing any accommodations). My symptoms are not as severe as others. All that adds up to the fact that I have an opportunity to make a difference for the autism community. So, I started to broaden my horizons in trying to understand the best I could about what individuals with autism are going through, as well as their caregivers.
My second thing that happened to me was during the 2010 AOTA/NBCOT Student Conclave. I happened to have a couple one-on-one conversations with then-Assembly of Student Delegates Steering Committee chairperson, Jaclyn Tarloff, not once, but twice! The first one was before the event started, as we used the time to get to know each other- since we competed against each other for the very position that she was serving. The second one happened because of a gaffe that I made at the airport as I was trying to go back home to LA, which was a long story in itself. As I was waiting for my flight home, I saw Jaclyn walking along the gate as she was waiting for her flight. We ended up chatting for an hour, in which she gave me a pep talk once she learned what I was going through. At the end of the pep talk, she told me that she respected me a lot than when she first knew me. Considering Jaclyn had become one of my OT idols after we got to know each other, it was special for her to say that to me. So, I decided to try to follow what she has been doing since then as a blueprint and adding my own elements.
On my flight home back to LA, I spent a good bit of time to think about making my mark in the OT profession. I then decided to do the following things, which has led me into becoming a starlet in the OT profession.
1. I associated myself with majority of the candidates who were running for the Assembly of Student Delegates steering committee positions in the last two years. I was able to use my previous campaign experiences as a way to connect with them.
2. I began to share my "new found" perspective via OTConnections. Dr. Clark (current AOTA president) has taken notice of what I did and named me as one of the vibrant pixels in the OT profession in the 2011 Spring edition of the USC Alumni Magazine, as well as constantly putting me on the top of the occupational therapy social scene at the occupational therapy conferences I have been to since I was diagnosed.
3. After learning that Jaclyn would be doing her share of OT conference presentations, I decided to challenge myself to start doing some, too! As I attempted to do these presentations, Dr. Clark also took notice, as she knew it probably took a lot of guts on my part to even try something like this, which was true.
Behind the glory, however, I was miles from where I wanted to be. So, I signed up for not one, but two independent "bridge courses" where I could get my feet wet in trying to rebuild my clinical skills. These "bridge courses" were designed for students who felt they needed additional seasoning before they go on their level 2 fieldwork assignments.
Although I have demonstrated good knowledge, anxiety still overwhelmed me when I was trying to lead treatments on my own. Even though I expected the anxieties to happen, I knew that the anxiety episodes had to be under control when I resumed trying level 2 fieldwork again. Towards the end of my second "bridge course", I decided to try anti-anxiety medications out of the urge of a Facebook friend whom I have never met but I happened to know her vicar. She has dyslexia and ADD.
Coming from a family that resists medication, I initially didn't like the idea of being medicated. But, considering what was at stake, I reluctantly to give medications a try. So, the psychologist at USC who gave me the screening for autism prescribed me Lorazepam towards the last 3 weeks of my second "bridge course", since I would only be at the clinical setting 2 days a week for no more than 8-10 hours total. I noticed some subtle improvements. Then, I got a prescription for Lexapro because I would be at the clinical settings for longer period of time and at a more consistent basis.
After getting used to the effects of Lexapro for the first 4 weeks, I have seen my performance at the clinic improved as my anxiety have dramatically reduced. Although I still showed signs of impulsivity and anxiety at times, it was night and day comparing to me from almost two years ago. Now, I am proud of the recovery I have made in almost two years since my diagnosis. Sure, part of the reason for my wonderful transformation was that I started in a better position than a lot of individuals with autism. But, without the hard work that I put in, the support I have received, and the fact that I tried to understand myself holistically, this transformation wouldn't have happened.
Sure, people may argue that I started in a much better position than a lot of individuals with autism. But, without the hard work I put in, the support I have received, and my efforts to try to understand myself holistically, this "beautiful transformation" wouldn't have been as great as it is.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
I am a undergraduate college student completely in love with OT and
will be applying to MOT programs in the fall! Anyway, I found your
blog about a week ago and have been reading as much as possible ever
since! I started from the beginning so I'm still not caught up, but so
far I have loved your enthusiasm and all the great information on your
blog. Thank you so much! It is very encouraging to hear your passion
for OT and the joy you obviously feel practicing it.
Reading your blog has made me seriously consider starting an
OT-related blog of my own. Starting from right now, talking about
things to do to prepare for OT school or issues that pre-OT/healthcare
people in general should be interested in. I know I've stumbled across
quite a few of these type blogs for pre-Med students, but I haven't
seen nearly as many for pre-OT students. I guess my main questions for
you are: do you think there is still a need for more OT blogs on the
internet? if so, do you think I would have anything to contribute to
that as an over-enthusiastic, over-achieving pre-Ot student? and do
you have any general blog-writing advice or medical blog writing
advice (what info people seem most interested in, how to avoid
breaking hippa laws, how to avoid plagiarism on a blog, etc.)?
Sorry if that's a lot! I know from reading your blog you are probably
busy with OT things and already bogged down in unread emails :) Even
if you are too busy to reply, I hope you will at least read this and
know how much you've inspired me and helped to remind me of why I
started on this OT career path in the first place.
Thank you so much!
There is at least two pre-OT blogs that I know about, LOL. I guess that's it. And I think there is ALWAYS room for another OT blog as long as it's because you have passion. Every personality is different and all the things you write about and reflect on will be different from other people, since we are all unique. So you will have different viewpoints. The key is that it has to be something you want to do! Just be careful not to use identifying information about people, and write what YOU care about - at first you will be talking to a wall as it will take a while before people can find your blog on search engines, but as you write more and more, you will get more readers.
Addition: I think the two pre-OT blogs I know about are Emma Jasmin Spink (spelling?) and Im'ma make OT?
I just recently stumbled upon your blog and I have been interested in pursuing a career as an OT. I am currently a sophomore at XY University and a Public Health major. I wanted to ask you about how you got to be an OT (if you have a blog post on it, you can just direct me there) and in your words the upsides and downsides of it. I am in the process of figuring out how I will be able to get my prerequisite course done and if it would be detrimental for me to take the course in the summer, as my advisor said not to do this. Please get back to me when you can and thank you for your time.
I get a lot of questions in my email....here is one I wanted to share as I am sure it is a rather universal thing to happen/way to feel!!
Question Received: I've been a fan of your blog since I started the OT program at XXXXXYYYYY. I don't know if you'll get to this email ,but I felt the need to seek advice from someone who recently used to be a student, but is now working as an OTR. I just finished the didactic portion of the program and will start my fieldwork level II's in September. I'm emailing you to see if you can impart advice to me since i'll be starting FWII soon. Actually, to be honest, I just got my test results back from my Geriatric Assessments class and i received a "C"! It's actually the first time I received a "C" on a test in this program. It was case study where we had to list out the problems and recommend the most essential assessments to use as well as how to administer, the purpose, etc. I didn't get the test back, so I'm not sure what I missed, but I'm feeling unprepared for my internship and worried that my clinical/critical thinking skills are not good enough. After 2 years of studying all these assessments and going over case studies, i thought that this test would be a breeze...boy, was I wrong. I'm feeling down and doubtful that I can be a good therapist. Do things get better? When did you start to get the hang of it? I'm feeling lost and disappointed.
I know it is disappointing to get a C, especially when you thought it would be a breeze, but that in ABSOLUTELY NO WAY means you don't have the hang of it!! A test does NOT equal real life. Who knows why you scored low - if at all possible I recommend you find out why, if it's not too late to contact the professor. Especially since it affected you so much. It takes a while to get the hang of things, but you have support from your fieldwork supervisor and others. You are not expected to be a walking textbook. A lot of it comes from intuition based on the theory you have learned.
I promise you, do not let that C bring you down and make you feel you are not ready! As long as you bring your best attitude and a willingness to learn, you'll be fine. You can learn everything you need to know knowledge-wise for OT, what they can't teach you is the stuff you already possess, like a strong work ethic etc. Believe me, I've heard repeatedly from higher-ups, that it's not about what you know, it's about your attitude - they can teach you the rest. So focus on your strengths and work on your weaknesses and it will be OKAY. Do not start your fieldwork down on yourself! Have confidence in what you CAN do and the rest will follow, I promise.
So....cheer up my friend. I promise, the fact you doubt yourself, is a sign you will be a great OT, because you care and will try hard. :)
Her response: Thank you so much for the encouraging words! I feel so much better after reading your response. I am even more determined to be the best OT I can be.
I have to tell you guys, my favorite questions from blog readers are in regards to things like anxiety, personality, etc. Personal issues. When prospective students ask me things like what is the difference between PT and OT I get a little frustrated because it can be found out through exploration. But when someone writes me and tells me their fears/worries/concerns about being an OT, it really means a lot to me. I was scared too. I have all sorts of anxiety issues and it's definitely been a challenge for me, but I love what I do. I just need a lot of downtime to make up for the psuedo extroversion...lol.
Question received form a prospective student:
My first question has more to do with the type of personalities that work well with OT. I would like to start off and say that I recently discovered the profession of OT -- I am embarrassed to admit I did not know it existed before. However, when I found out what being an OT entails I already got the intuitive feeling and "chill" that I knew this would be something I would love and feel passionate about on a daily basis, something I could really see myself doing for the rest of my life (as super cheesy as it sounds). I still feel that way especially since I always knew that my life goal is to help people on a more personal level. I have even had many daydreams of doing missions or volunteering abroad in developing countries, so I know that the passion for being an OT and helping patients is there. However, I have a little bit more of a shy personality, it is not too bad -- I am just more of an observer in the beginning of new situations until I feel comfortable (takes several days, nothing too drastic). I know this is probably a silly question but I also know how extroverted people excel easily and more quickly in patient related occupations as opposed to introverts like me. Do you think there is a "typical" OT personality that mainly includes more extroverted people?
Okay, now on to more of a normal question :-P. When it comes to OT schools and programs-- does the ranking of the program really matter when it comes down to it?
Rankings wise, no, it doesn't really matter as long as you have the drive and initiative to make the experience good. The school is just a vehicle, you are the one that will make it worth it. Obviously a good school high in rankings might be better than other schools, but if you don't have time or resources to make it happen, just go to whatever school you can.
Regarding personality - I consider myself an introvert. I'm shy too, believe it or not. I do also like to have a few days to kind of figure out what's going on before I speak up. You will definitely be challenged to be an introvert in the OT world, but it is 100% doable, you will just be out of your comfort zone at times.
Addition: (I didn't put this in my email to her but I just reread the question and saw something I missed). There will definitely be people that tell you that there is a typical OT personality, and yes, life in a patient-centered healthcare field is certainly a little easier energy-wise if you are an extrovert, but even as an introvert you can be a wonderful OT and love your job. Just know your own strengths and weaknesses and find a job - there are so many options - that will allow your introversion. IE, perhaps don't sign up for a job doing lots of big groups!!