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Showing posts from July, 2013

Historical roots of occupational therapy: It is easy to forget

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To paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien...

History became legend, legend became myth – and some things that should not have been forgotten … were lost.

In Glen Gillen's Slagle lecture at the 2013 AOTA conference he stated "We need to reclaim what we do..."  This is not the first time that there has been a call back to our roots - we periodically re-visit this theme in occupational therapy.  In order for us to develop a plan to 'reclaim what we do' we need to KNOW what we did.  And why we did it.  And what set us on the path to begin with.

In a previous entry in this series I showed how Dr. Licht went searching for some of that history.  After receiving a response from Mayor Copeland, Dr. Licht felt like he had struck a gold mine of historical information that he did not previously have:




















Also, as Dr. Licht had receipt of contact information for Isabel (Newton) Barton, he quickly sent her out a letter as well, eager to learn as much as he could about that e…

Social Justice: What would Dr. Kielhofner say?

This post is a follow up to my post earlier this month about the use of a public health model for occupational therapy.  The issue of public health models is directly linked to the issue of inclusion of Social Justice in the AOTA Code of Ethics which states (in part):

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Principle 4. Occupational therapy personnel shall provide services in a fair and equitable manner.
Social justice, also called distributive justice, refers to the fair, equitable, and appropriate distribution of resources. The principle of social justice refers broadly to the distribution of all rights and responsibilities in society (Beauchamp & Childress, 2009). In general, the principle of social justice supports the concept of achieving justice in every aspect of society rather than merely the administration of law. The general idea is that individuals and groups should receive fair treatment and an impartial share of the benefits of society. Occupational therapy personnel have a vested inter…

Historical roots of occupational therapy: A beginning explanation for the inquiry.

In the previous installment I talked about the curious letter from Dr. Licht to Dr. Copeland, who was the Mayor of Clifton Springs, NY.  It was curious because Dr. Licht was so closely connected to Dr. Dunton, who was a Founder himself and attended the initial meeting at Consolation House.

Looking back at the 50th year celebration of AOTA, we can see that Isabel (Newton) Barton, the wife of George Barton, was alive when Dr. Licht made his initial inquiry in 1967.  She even wrote an article that appeared in AJOT in 1968 about her memories of Consolation House.  This exemplifies the (probable) difficulty of information sharing in a pre-Internet context.  It is difficult to understand any other reason why any 'disconnect' might exist and why Dr. Licht did not contact Mrs. Barton directly from the start.


Mrs. Barton's 1968 article is interesting - and primarily reflects a personal recollection of the particulars of Consolation House.  It is dripping full of context and context…

Historical roots of occupational therapy: Introduction to a series

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edit: For those looking for the full series of posts on this topic, please click on the 'History' button on the 'Labels' or use this link.
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I have been sitting on some historical source material for quite some time.  I have been studying the material extensively, trying to decide the best way to share the information, and at times just putting it all aside out of frustration.

When students learn about the founding of the occupational therapy profession they tend to read simple information in textbooks and it is somewhat devoid of context.  History without context provides opportunity for misinterpretation, and this is something that I believe is important to try to avoid. 

I am not a historian and I am not a biographer and I think this is why I have struggled with how to best present the information.  My motivation was to share this before AOTA's Centennial.  We are well in advance of 2017 and so I hope that beginning to share thi…

More on the NYS 'negotiated' rates and what it might mean for the future of the early intervention program

There was some very important information in the Early Intervention Billing FAQ that was distributed via email today:

Q: ­If a provider accepts a lower rate for a payment from an insurance company, the municipality will bear a larger portion of the expense, correct?

A: If a provider accepts a negotiated rate of payment and that payment from the insurer is made in an amount less than the State-approved early intervention rate for the service provided, the ISFA will process payments for the balance due the provider from the escrow account using municipal funds at State established rates for the EIP. Billing providers will receive the full EIP rate for delivered services. If the provider does not accept the negotiated rate, and the insurer subsequently denies the claim for reasons such as out of network provider, then the entire payment will be made from the escrow account.
We have established a policy to refuse the 'negotiated' rate of payment for home based early interventio…

'Occupation' or 'function' as best descriptors for OT practice?

It is too hot to go outside and do anything and I had to shut down my office as we lost power in a (presumed) brownout so I came to my home office and have been trolling around the Internet all afternoon.  That rarely ends productively, but I was really happy to run across some comments from today's #occhat where there was a debate about use of terminology in the profession.

I want to strongly encourage people to go read the Letter from the Editor in the Spring 2013 Open Journal of Occupational Therapy written by Diane Powers Dirette. In this letter she discusses issues related to terminology in the field related to use of the words 'occupation' and 'function.'

Powers Dirette states that historically OTs have used the word 'function' but this word was replaced with the word 'occupation' in the mid-1990s.  Perhaps not coincidentally, this is the time period when we saw the creation of 'occupational science' as an academic discipline, somethin…

Emails about early intervention while I was on vacation!

I was on vacation last week and had MANY emails about early intervention and billing in my inbox.  The most interesting one was from Chris Weis who states that he is a product manager for some billing software that is sold by the interim State Fiscal Agent for the NYS Early Intervention program.  It was my favorite email so I thought I would share my response that I copied to the EIP as well.  His initial email is in blockquote below.

For background, I will again mention that I think transparency is important and that is why I post this information.  This blog is not chock full of great ideas about treatment activities that kids love.  We provide that elsewhere on our Facebook and Pinterest sites - but this blog format is for communicating serious things.  This information is not for the faint of heart.  It is not intended to celebrate the wonderful job that providers do with children - but it does show how the system is currently threatened - and many families may not be aware.  Sinc…

A Fourth of July message for the occupational therapy profession

I write this second installment regarding public health in an attempt to document the pathway that the occupational therapy profession has taken with regard to its perspective on client autonomy, client-centered occupational therapy practice, and now calls to move toward public health models of intervention.

An analysis of this topic can correctly start all the way back to the founding of the profession - including conversations about the musings of George Barton as he convalesced from tuberculosis - but for purposes of controlling the length and depth of the analysis I feel comfortable restricting the conversation to what I will label as the modern period, beginning in the 1960s.  It is during the 1960s that important leaders and theorists promoted a return to the philosophical roots of the profession and a re-focus on occupation and habits which functionally reflects a respect for our philosophical core.

There is too much volume of material to be absolutely complete so I will pick …

Will a public health model make occupational therapy more relevant?

I just finished watching the COT 2013 Annual Conference plenary by Michael Iwama.  You can listen to his lecture by clicking here.  Hopefully we will have accompanying slides in the near future.  I was very anxious to listen to this presentation after watching the Twitter feed coming from the conference that included statements about our 'preoccupation with the individual' and that our 'practice has stalled' and that we were at a crossroads where we had an opportunity to take on a new role in a broader public health initiative.

I was a little concerned about some of these statements and was not sure that I agreed.  I am in the beginning stages of my own Twitter-acceptance and was not sure if those conference tweets fairly represented the presentation.  I am happy to report that the quotes and concepts that people were tweeting from the conference were actually quite accurate and representative of the presentation.

I encourage people to listen to the whole presentation…