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The Transformative Power of Occupational Therapy: Peter Leypold’s Journey

April 1, 2024
Solace Team

Discover the inspiring journey of Peter Leypold, an occupational therapist with Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare, and his impact on the lives of the children he works with.


Hi, I’m Peter Leypold, an occupational therapist with Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare. I became an occupational therapist in large part because of my mom. She still works as a teacher assistant for children with autism at the local school. And so, as a middle schooler and as a high schooler, I would go there pretty often to help out around the classroom. And the more I got to know these kids, the more I realized I wanted to work with children for a living. So initially, I thought maybe, “Let’s be a pediatrician,” but over time, I realized that what I really wanted was a career where I could form a deeper connection with the families and the children that I treat and be able to really customize and tailor my treatment plan over time and see the results over a longer period of time.

As an occupational therapist, we run the gamut regarding medical diagnoses and age range. The youngest child that I see is about two years old. And then the oldest one that I see just recently turned 16-years-old. A lot of what we do depends on the child’s diagnosis. A lot of what we do depends on the child’s needs around the home, cultural factors, and many things. So from a medical standpoint, we see children that have mild developmental delays, children that are on the autism spectrum that require a lot of sensory and adaptive needs, to children that are a little bit more medically complex.

So, there’ve been lots of great moments as an occupational therapist. The most recent one had to do with a little girl that I just discharged a couple of weeks ago. It was a child that I’d been seeing for almost two years. So it was pretty bittersweet that she was graduating from occupational therapy. So I have a phone call with her mom and talk about all the progress that she’s made from age four to age seven. And so when mom talked about that, the thing that really resonated with me was that she talked about how therapy, over time, changed her relationship with her little girl. Simply because at the time that we started, she wasn’t communicating with other children effectively, and she couldn’t draw, color, and really play with other children in the way that she wanted to. And so over time, she developed those skills and now she’s playing on the playground with all her classmates. She’s in second grade right now. And she’s just absolutely rocking it with her spelling words. She’s able to make arts and crafts projects, she’s able to follow long sequences. And so when mom said that it changed the relationship between her and her daughter, that’s really what it’s all about — about allowing the child to be the best that they can be and to be able to interact in the environment that they are given the way that they want to interact with it.

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