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One of the many unassuming heroes in our community

Joe+De+Filippis+with+one+of+his+students
Joe De Filippis with one of his students

Joe De Filippis with one of his students

Joe De Filippis with one of his students

Isabella De Filippis, Reporter

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Joe De Filippis is one of the many unassuming heroes in our community. Joe is an Occupational Therapist (OT) who specializes in pediatrics. An OT works with children and adults who have mental and physical disabilities, to help them gain independence, while also strengthening the development of fine motor skills, sensory motor skills and visual motor skills that they need to function and socialize.

Joe De Filippis received a Bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy and a Masters in Education from San Jose State University. He currently works for the Santa Clara County Office of Education and at five schools with seven different classrooms and 50 different students per week. He collaborates with parents, teachers and various disciplines to help develop a specialized plan for each student to work on throughout the school year, as well as a home program to be implemented by parents in their home.

Joe has been an OT for over eighteen years and has worked with over nine hundred different students. He has been an unassuming hero working with students to improve their ability to function in the classroom and in the community to be more independent. Helping people with mental and physical disabilities can be very hard, depending on what diagnosis they have.

“I took my niece who has cerebral palsy to an Occupational Therapy appointment and thought it was the greatest thing. From that second, I decided to become an OT”, said Joe De Filippis. “My favorite part of my job is seeing kids grow throughout the years.” Joe De Filippis is one of the reasons that many disabled kids and adults have been given the opportunity to succeed in life, where in the past they were institutionalized.

Occupational Therapists have to learn to work at the right level in order to get children engaged in activities and give them the”just right challenge” for each task. The “just right challenge” is when you give enough assistance to help someone succeed, but not enough help to the point that you are doing the task for them. Without help from many OTs like Joe De Filippis, many kids and adults with challenges would never be giving the opportunity to reach their potential and be productive members of society.

 

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One of the many unassuming heroes in our community