LMU-OTD Student’s Doctoral Capstone Project Focuses on Children with Disabilities

Cristen Long

Lincoln Memorial University-Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program (LMU-OTD) third-year student Cristen Long’s doctoral capstone project is creating resources for caregivers on the importance of incorporating skill development in their child’s everyday routine. With the development and implementation of Long’s project, the hope is children’s independence in activities of daily living improves.  

Long is partnered with We Rock the Spectrum in Jackson, Tennessee. Her week consists of time researching evidence-based interventions, creating educational guides, acting as a gym coach and leading her “Winter Sensory Wednesday.” 

Recently, Long and her students worked on a sensory project where they made rain stick bottles. The bottles were made of colored rice, scented with lavender essential oil, along with glitter and pipe cleaners. The children had a full sensory experience by using touch, smell and sound.   

 Her project focuses on improving children’s independence with occupations while incorporating family-based education. 

“I am hoping to improve the lives of the families who attend the gym and provide an “OT lens” to the typical process of the facility,” she said. “In addition, this capstone project has allowed me to gain pediatric experience for my future career.” 

During her fieldwork rotations, Long gained geriatric experience. Through her capstone project, she developed a passion for pediatrics.  

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at admissions@LMUnet.edu  

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