Occupational therapy started on a simple premise - that man, through the use of his hands as they are energized by mind and will, can influence the state of his own health. That statement was provided to the profession by Mary Reilly, our greatest theoretician.
It is a simple concept, borne out of a core philosophy of pragmatism and infused with a dose of all the good intentions of the moral treatment movement. If you carefully read that core philosophy of occupational therapy you
will hear the Emersonian reverberations of self-reliance: 'Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.'
That is what occupational therapy seeks to nurture in the spirit of
people: Independence, harmony with the self, harmony with nature, and a satisfaction
in authentic work and effort and purpose and meaning.
Occupational therapy is a concept that was designed to create solutions for the problems of living - and was field tested in the settlement house projects of Chicago and Bos…
Each year I receive several emails from colleagues about 'retained primitive reflexes.' I am also seeing an increased number of reports from local 'health care' providers who are documenting these alleged problems so I thought I would write a summary of my opinion on this topic.
Predatory 'health care' providers including some OTs, PTs, chiropractors, and behavioral optometrists are creating a new 'market' for treating this alleged 'problem.' Parents should be very wary of these practitioners and other professionals should challenge these practices whenever they are seen.
The following is the kind of information that causes concern and was provided to me by a colleague as a sample from a student's IEP:
The student continues to demonstrate the following retained primitive reflexes that at times interfere with his ability to demonstrate appropriate adaptive responses: Fear Paralysis Reflex, Moro Reflex, Palmer Reflex, Tonic Labyrinthine R…
It is easy for occupational therapy practitioners who have been embroiled in the intraprofessional debate about entry level credentials to lose sight of a larger perspective. Sometimes the closer you are to a concern, the more challenging it is to understand the more broad ramifications of something that happened.
The grass roots effort that pushed against a mandated escalation of the entry level degrees in the occupational therapy profession made a very broad social and cultural statement. It was a historic example of a professional group that argued against some of its own leadership in an effort that ultimately serves the more broad public interest. It was an amazing testimonial to the nature of occupational therapy practitioners, their common sense and pragmatism, and their interest in fairness, diversity, and inclusion on many levels. The effort highlighted the very best of the occupational therapy profession, even if it was a contentious and at times divisive argument.