Showing posts from February, 2006

A Need to Support the Mental Wellness of Parents

Explanation of occupational risk with supporting evidence

Parents who have children with disabling conditions are at an increased risk for psychopathology as compared to parents with typically developing children (Fuller and Rankin, 1994). Parenting occupations are more complex and challenging when children have disabling conditions; increased demands on parents contribute to changes in normal parent-child interactions (Anastopoulos, Shelton, DuPaul, & Guevremont, 1993). In addition to the directly negative impact that stress causes to the parent, parental stress has been associated with increased child behavioral problems and intergenerational psychopathology, including depression (Baker, 1994; Ellenbogen & Hodgins, 2004).

Many child-centered and parent-centered factors may have a negative impact on development of normal parent-child interactions. Parent-centered factors include emotional and mental health needs that are unmet or poorly addressed by health professionals that ca…

A Critical Appraisal of Therapeutic Listening


According to Frick (2002, p. 358), auditory training has been used in Europe since the mid-1900s to address sensory processing disorders and these techniques have been recently popularized in the United States. Frick has based her Therapeutic Listening program on the work of Dr. Alfred Tomatis and Dr. Guy Berard, both of whom are French physicians. Both the Tomatis and Berard programs are delivered by specific machines using earphones but these devices do not have FDA approval and have been banned in the United States (Barrett, 2003). Frick (2001) states “With the advent of new technology, similar altered music has become available on compact disc. The discs do not replace either the Tomatis Method or the Berard Method. The compact discs do provide a less intense way to access both the auditory and vestibular systems to impact neural function and integration and are easily available to clinicians in a variety of practice arenas.” The CDs referenced on Frick’s webpages are ass…

awkward positions

This will be boring for non-OTs - sorry. But it is an issue that begs to be broadcast. I am hoping some students will find this as they do web searches on top-down and bottom-up approaches to practice.


There is a growing divide between academia and practice in occupational therapy. This is not necessarily new. Back in 1972 Phil Shannon wrote a wonderful article talking about the 'derailment' of occupational therapy practice as practitioners were focusing on biomedical models of intervention as opposed to 'biosocial' models - those that were more expansive and systems based.

The problem is that the issue was defined for the profession over 30 years ago and there is still considerable disconnect between academically espoused models or frameworks and what actually occurs in occupational therapy practice 'in the trenches.' The latest iteration of this massive disconnect is reflected in the broad clinical brush-off to the OT Practice Framework (AOTA, 2002)…

Lucky break?

When I first met Paul we were both in our mid-twenties and working in the same facility: he was doing piece work in a workshop for people who had developmental disabilities, and I was employed as a therapist to provide services to the workers at the site.

Paul was identified as having moderate mental retardation. He had to use a wheelchair for mobility because he had cerebral palsy. Paul's movement was characterized by what is called 'hemiballismus.' What this means is that he would have 'ballistic'-type movements in his extremities that were uncontrolled. So, Paul would be sitting in his chair and suddenly his right arm or right leg would shoot out straight and his body would seem to spasm. These did not last long, but they did occur at a frequency that disrupted his ability to perform activities independently.

Paul was very conscious about this, and over time he became very aware that he could accidentally hurt people if they were standing too close by when his li…