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Vocational Treatment For The Transitional Aged Youth (TAY)

Michelle Burlyga, MS, OTR/L

April 25, 2016



Can you say more about the vocational treatment. What exactly do you do?


In many programs, you already have the 18 and older with the DOR, the Department of Rehab, but a lot of times,that may only be the 18+ population. When you are working with a Transitional Aged Youth (TAY) population, you need to do that prevocational work as well. In some models and the model that I work with, I had an employment specialist working with me. I would do a lot of prevocational training. Helping them to understand what is a good employee look like, communication skills, etc.

We even go into things like resume building, role playing interviews. Discussing what are qualities that employers are looking for. Looking at their interests. If there is no Department of Rehab and you are doing the actual employment stuff, then we usually help them work on communicating their needs to an employer if they need to. We try to teach them the aspects of the job and the skills so that we do not need to be there and they can be self-reliant. We work on confidence building and communication skills. 

michelle burlyga

Michelle Burlyga, MS, OTR/L

Michelle Burlyga, MS, OTR/L earned her BSOT and MSOT from San Jose State University in 2007. She currently works as the Program Manager as well as OT for REACH, an outpatient prevention and early identification program for psychosis at Momentum for Mental Health. While managing both REACH and the TAY Drop In Center, she recently developed and initiated the agency’s first OT internship program at her site and continues to advocate for integration of OT services throughout the agency. Michelle currently serves as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, working as an occupational therapist for a Combat Stress Control unit in Southern California and has gained professional experience through prior inpatient mental health, skilled nursing and pediatric positions. She is passionate about advocating for increased OT awareness and integrated services within all behavioral health fields and happily spends much of her time presenting both knowledge and visions to current and future healthcare professionals.


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