School-Based OT Directly Out of Grad School

An OT student asked if going into school-based OT advisable straight out of school, saying “a couple people have warned against this because it requires a certain level of autonomy as a new practitioner…” Here is my answer:

I’m in my 6th month of working school-based, straight out of school. To survive, you certainly need to have some supports. I had school-based fieldwork, I chat often with a close family member who works in special education, and I’m working part-time. I still yearn for more supports. There are a lot of moving parts… a wide array of pediatric conditions, parents, assessments, reports, the variable school environment, multiple campuses, IEP meetings, never enough time in a day or resources. Be prepared to not be prepared. That said, it can be done if you have the supports. If I didn’t have my supports, it would not have worked.

At the end of my SNF fieldwork, I felt like I almost had it down. At the end of my school-based fieldwork. I didn’t feel nearly as competent, partially because of the particular experience I had (ask me about it privately) and partially because the job is more faceted.



What is a reasonable workload for a school-based occupational therapist?

What is a reasonable workload for a school-based occupational therapist? What percentage of time should a school-based occupational therapist be seeing clients vs performing other duties?

There are few guidelines or rules to answer these questions. That makes it especially for a new occupational therapist who is working in a district on his own (like me). Here are some datapoints for you:

From the AOTA Workforce Survey (I think the data is from 2014),  “How OT Practitioners Spend Their Time in Different Settings”


The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction created a guideline document in 2016. I found it here. You can find a local archive of it here:  Workload-document-and-formulas.2016. This creates a formula to determine workloads for occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists.

Another useful source is the site. It is billed as “The only open source OT salary survey designed by and for OT practitioners. Knowledge is power.”

What do I do with Researchgate?

I really enjoyed the research portion of my occupational therapy master’s degree. I’m now a member of but I can’t figure out what it’s good for! Any thoughts?

Sloppy Equifax

I wrote this letter to Equifax today:


I got an email from TrustedID Customer Service <> today. In it there was a sure sign of a phishing attack, only it wasn’t.

It reads like so:
Subject: New Credit Monitoring Alert
We’ve noticed a change on your credit report, and we encourage you to log in to your account to view details at
Notice that the text reads “” but the link behind it reads “…”
Don’t do that shit. There is arguably only one key bit of protected information on the internet, domain names. Customers should only ever click on matched text and links. If you get customers used to clicking mismatched text and links, you get them used to being scammed.
Please write back and tell me you’ll fix this type of error in your emails.
Thank you,

Lee Sonko

What Phone should I Get?

It’s time to upgrade my phone. Internets, what do I get?

I want/need:
a good camera – photos of Abigail!
At least 64 GB of memory – podcasts, videos of Abgail
All-day battery – 0% at at 10pm is uncool
Unlocked – I’m on Cricket wireless
Affordable – Abigail takes precedence
Google voice commands – I love talking to my phone

I was thinking… Moto G, OnePlus… or…

How To Store Books

I’ve been looking for a better way to store all the stuff in our house. Books take up a lot of space in our house. I found a great guide for how to store books. Notably, it told me that I shouldn’t store books in sealed, clear plastic boxes with desiccant on our back patio. The reasoning: UV light and daily temperature variability is bad for books. I’ll keep looking for a good way to store all our stuff.

Here is the guide:


I found the guide on the Wayback Machine at It used to be on the museum’s website.