Showing posts from December, 2005

An Analysis of Continuing Competence Regulation of Occupational Therapy in New York State

Goals of the policy

Regulation of continuing competence is an important current issue for the public consumers of occupational therapy services in New York State. Two bills were introduced by New York State legislators in 2005 to address this issue. Assembly bill A.5160 and Senate bill S.1388 are identical companion bills that establish requirements for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants to complete continuing education as part of their triennial license renewal. The proposals also mandate continuing competency fee be paid to help support the administration of this additional requirement.

This proposed policy is being decided in the New York State Legislature and has been referred to the Committee on Higher Education for their review and feedback. No legislative action was taken on either bill during 2005.

There is no uniform licensure or continuing competence requirement among the states. Forty-one jurisdictions currently have continuing competence requirements…

An Analysis of Foster Care Policy and its Impact on Occupational Therapy

Identifying Information

Foster care is defined by the United States Government Department of Health and Human Services as "24-hour substitute care for children outside their own homes… [and] includes all children who have or had been in foster care at least 24 hours. The foster care settings include, but are not limited to family foster homes, relative foster homes…, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, childcare institutions, and pre-adoptive homes." (DHHS, 2003a). According to the most current governmental data, 523,000 children were in foster care on September 30, 2003 (DHHS, 2003b). Children are placed in temporary foster homes when their parents are unable to care for them. Foster care is generally designed as a temporary service for children and families who are experiencing a crisis. New York State outlines specific regulations for foster care (18 NYCRR 421).

History of the Policy

Children in foster care have historically been disenfranchised and unde…

up in flames

I have had several good reasons to write more this last week but my time has been consumed with so many tasks. That has been somewhat depressing. There is an interesting juxtaposition of living such a tremendously full life and wanting to document some of the more candid experiences here - and then deciding that life is too full to be spending any spare precious moments documenting it. That is interesting to me.

Anyway, today was just the pinnacle of insanity when we walked into the pediatric clinic and were surprised to find the computer turned off. That in itself is not such an unusual finding because power outages do occur and I figured that perhaps the recent ice storms caused some temporary 'brown-outs'. What was crazy was that I precognitively thought to myself "Well I will just fire up the computer here and get to work." So I flipped the power on and the computer literally started smoking.

It is a depressing thing to see a computer go up in flames like that, kn…

forensic occupation

Here is a question I had the opportunity to respond to recently: Should the justice system focus on punishment or rehabilitation? Why? How does this affect occupational therapy?

I don't intend to take both sides of this issue as a 'cop-out' but I believe that prisons should focus on both punishment and rehabilitation. I'll address punishment first, as that seems to be the easier topic.

Some people commit crimes that are so heinous that they simply deserve to be punished. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to keep people incarcerated and separate from society for the rest of their lives, without opportunity for parole. Their treatment should be humane, but they should not be afforded luxuries including education, work-release, halfway houses, or parole. I believe that some people are not capable of rehabilitation, and they should not be eligible for rehabilitation. I don't know that I have a set of criteria ready to list that would preclude rehabilitation but …

occupation and identity

I went to my daughter's Christmas concert this evening, and this event always evokes some thinking. I live in a smallish place, and there are some particular traditions associated with the school's Christmas concert. Each year one of the final songs is the Hallelujah Chorus and members of the audience are invited to go on stage and sing with the students. Now my son just graduated so of course it is much too un-cool for him to step onto that stage yet, but I expect that at some point in time he will fondly recall the regional tradition and he may even choose to go sing on that stage again. It is the stage that he was on when Emile de Becque kissed Nellie Forbush, the stage where someone handed him his diploma, and of course the stage where he sang the Hallelujah Chorus . It will be a return, because it is a part of him. Perhaps it is a part of his identity, and the occupations that he engaged in on that stage were all quite defining for him.

I hope I am not presuming too much. …

An Analysis of Head Start Policy and its Impact on Occupational Therapy

Identifying Information

The Head Start and Early Head Start programs are comprehensive child development programs that serve children from birth to age 5, pregnant women, and their families. The program provides services to low-income preschool children including children with disabilities. The program is designed for children to achieve social, emotional, physical, and mental development. Head Start is a federal program within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It was most recently reauthorized through fiscal year 2003 by PL 105-285. The program was scheduled for reauthorization in 2003 but no agreement could be reached on proposed changes to the programs. Head Start reauthorization is being currently debated in the House and Senate.

History of the Policy

The Head Start programs were originally a part of the ‘Great Society’ ideas that became the domestic policy initiatives of President Lyndon Johnson (1964). Johnson …

Metablogging and interactivity

I apologize in advance for the rambling nature of this entry, but stream of consciousness is part of the process, and I hope helps to lead to an understanding of the issue.

As I see so many children who have attending and regulatory-type difficulties I spend a good deal of my time investigating strategies that will help them to improve their capabilities. In order to be successful those strategies have to be reinforced, and so logically this means that the rest of the world that interacts with kids has to 'believe' in the stragegy if they are going to help facilitate its use. This is a primary problem with many sensory-based interventions that lack the face validity needed that would support general acceptance. Throw in the issue of a total lack of evidence and mix in the intraprofessional dogma that clinicians are fed about sensory techniques and you essentially have the current evidence-less state of clinical pediatric practice today. That is rather grim now, isn't it?