Showing posts from August, 2005

Car Seat Controversy?

We have received several phone calls in recent weeks regarding a controversial new 'research' study that was published on the 'Freakonomics' website. To view the article, click here . The article states that the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data shows that child restraint systems are no more effective than regular seatbelts for children ages two and up. There are several potential problems with this conclusion that need to be resolved. First, FARS data only accounts for fatality crashes. The incidence of injury is far greater than the incidence of death in motor vehicle crashes, and this study doesn't address the way that child restraints may function to prevent injury in less-severe motor vehicle crashes. Second, the 'study' has not been peer-reviewed. We encourage the authors to submit their findings to a reputable peer-reviewed journal so that it can be scrutinized appropriately. Third, we are concerned that there has been no consideration fo

thoughts on Pakistan

I originally wrote this on 9/18/2001 while I was feeling under assault from the constant media coverage of the terrorist attacks. I felt a need to revisit something positive relating to Islam. I have been watching the National Geographic documentaries on 9/11 and that horrible feeling in my stomach returned, so I thought it might be a good time to dust off these old recollections. "As-salaam alaykum," the gentleman said to me as he made his way slowly into my office, leaning on a cane and lowering himself slowly into the chair opposite me. I looked at him, hesitantly, not knowing the proper response. "It's nice to meet you," I said, extending my hand. The man looked at me sternly and then said to me quite seriously and in a thickly-accented English, "This will never do. If you are to be the one who will help me improve my abilities, we will have to greet each other properly. When I say 'As-salaam alaykum' to you as I enter the room, you must return

Billy's world

I glanced down at the intake sheet on the seat next to me as I crossed high over the arching bridge and downshifted into the city. I was running a little late but thought that the house would be easy enough to find. I dialed the house and told the family I would be there shortly. The mother's voice was uneven and slurred. "The house is on the corner, and my street is between 18th and 20th," she announced. I was a little concerned, because I was not sure where else she thought I would look to find 19th St. I entered the house by the side door, as instructed, and walked up a flight of deep and dirty steps to the second floor. I could tell immediately that the environment was not going to be pleasant. Cigarette butts were extinguished haphazardly and left on the windowsill next to some rotting food and too many flies. It was muggy and sticky just like the city gets in the hot August sun. "There would never be enough water to make this clean," I thought out loud as


There was a NY Times article today that outlined the degradation that people experience when they are admitted to hospitals or health care systems. I was a little bothered by the fact that this was presented as some type of news flash. I guess no one was listening over 30 years ago when Madelaine Gray talked about the same issue. This is probably too arcane for non-OT readers to find, but the citation is: Gray, M. (1972). Effects of hospitalization on work-play behavior, American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 26, 180-185. So there are a few problems here. First, we knew about a problem over 30 years ago, discussed it and debated it, but here we still are without a solution. That is just inexcusable, and I wouldn't blame patients for revolting. Second, how frustrating is it to be Madelaine Gray? I don't know if she is alive, and I doubt this could ever reach her ears or eyes, but I wish I could tell her that someone did hear her and that she was correct. As for the Times art

Back to work

There are so many things to do. I don't mean to have an exaggerated sense of what I am trying to accomplish here or elsewhere, but now I need to get myself motivated to do all the things that need to be done. Despite being on vacation, I was thinking about things everyday; certainly, my brain did not shut itself down. I needed a transition back into work mode, so of course the John Deere came in handy. At first I didn't manage much beyond yard thoughts, but it got my thinking jumpstarted again. Most recently I have been thinking a little about the moles in my yard. I don't understand why people are so upset about moles. They dig nice tunnels and I enjoy watching them scurry around when I cut the grass. I enjoy watching them run into their little mole-holes - and I am not compelled to ask them to leave. Actually, I enjoy the fact that they are there. I feel the same way about the frogs in the pond. It gives me a sense of peace to know that they live in my pond, and that it

Formula for success

I have been reflecting on the concept of work lately and am reminded of the Albert Einstein quote: If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut. I have done plenty of X. This last week has supplied plenty of Y. I am desperately in need of Z, and this blog is not helping. Actually, because of my abundance of Y, I have been feeding my soul with all kind of replenishing things that will rejuvenate me for X. I read 'A Prayer for Owen Meaney' which was an interesting study in pre-destination. I also revisited some children's literature - mostly Lloyd Alexander stuff. Nothing clears my mind like finding my way back to a book that I read when I was ten years old. My wonderful colleagues have been holding the fort down for me, which I will publicly thank them for here (THANK YOU!). A quick visit back to the office on Friday to beat back the Demons of Withdrawal and Paranoia was successful in showing me how irrelevant I tru