Showing posts from May, 2008

Occupational therapy and the macabre!

This is a blog entry for Halloween, but I just couldn't wait. My daughter was recently assigned some Edgar Allan Poe to read - and I immediately assumed it would be one of his most famous poems or short stories. I was surprised to find that she was assigned one of his more esoteric stories which of course caused me to launch into a lecture on the state of education today, blah blah blah - you know, the kind of story that makes teenage daughters roll their eyes. I told her that additionally it was important to read 'classic' Poe and referred her to "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" and "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Fall of the House of Usher." Then I thought I better read them all again myself so I can talk to her about what I just asked her to read. It had been years since I picked up Edgar Allan Poe... I found quite the surprise while reading these old Poe classics! Mandatory reading assignment for today is "The Fall of the House o

Need a project for your occupational therapy master's or doctoral degree?

I don't have time to do it all by myself - I wish I did. Some days the ideas come flying out of my brain so fast I don't know what to do with them. Anyway, my idea of the day is for someone to complete a qualitative study of occupational therapy student's occupations. What could make this interesting? Use Twitter. Bring Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's data collection methods into the 21st century! So anyone who is interested can email me proposal ideas they are willing to share - I will create a network of interested people via discussion group, and we can establish recruitment and data parameters and create a really large dataset of daily occupational therapy student occupations. It is a learning tool and a way for us to explore how to use technology for data collection. Maybe someday the model can be applied to other populations, but for now I have a working assumption that a fair number of OT students are Twittering. Or if you are an educator and want to try this as a clas

Measurement issues in pediatric occupational therapy

We talk here a lot about evidence based practice, the need for better science in our assessments and intervention, and professional responsibility to make sure all these things happen. On a daily basis we work toward a better 'science' of occupational therapy while at the same time maintaining a close connection to our 'art.' After all, we are often talking about our connections with real people and how we can best offer help. I feel that we are making some changes in the way we think about these issues in our profession, because I hear more and more people talking about real participation and our goals of assuming or resuming normal occupational behaviors. I've been thinking about this topic all week, and now I am kicking myself twice for not going to the national conference this year. Through the grapevine I am hearing about Dr. Wendy Coster's Slagle lecture and how she talked about measurement issues. I wish I was able to hear her lecture now. Instead,

a response from WFOT

I received a response from WFOT regarding an email I sent them about a banner ad on their website. Here is their response: From: World Federation of Occupational Therapists [] Sent: 03 May 2008 17:25 To: '' Cc: Marilyn Pattison Subject: WFOT: For Info: banner ads on WFOT website Dear Dr. Alterio Many thanks for your letter and the concerns you raise. I would like to draw to your attention to the following statement on the WFOT website: Placement of advertising either on the WFOT website or in the Bulletin does not imply any endorsement of the advertised products and / or services by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Based on this I would suggest your criticism of WFOT is somewhat unjustified and your disappointment misplaced. WFOT is staffed by volunteers and the organisation depends upon donations, individual membership and revenue from products and advertising to fund its international activities. The placement o

new sensory research for children who have autism

Below is a feed I picked off of ScienceDaily - reporting on a study that was presented at the recent AOTA conference. I wish that more information was available - and I was unable to attend conference this year. I'll have to reserve most of my comments because I just need more information. I am encouraged by the apparent rigor of a double blind design - but wondering if they just used the Sensory Profile as a pre-post measurement. I'll try to find out and post more... Here is the newsfeed: Autistic Mannerisms Reduced By Sensory Treatment ScienceDaily (2008-04-27) -- Children with autistic spectrum disorders who underwent sensory integration therapy exhibited fewer autistic mannerisms compared to children who received standard treatments. Such mannerisms, including repetitive hand movements or actions, making noises, jumping or having highly restricted interests, often interfere with paying attention and learning. ... ; read full article

An attack on evidence-based assessment in occupational therapy

In the past I have blogged about evidence based practice so I don't really feel the need to revisit the topic at length. The use of evidence is not a passing fad but rather represents a real shift in the sophistication of our science. This shift was not just restricted to occupational therapy but occupational therapy was caught up in it. That was a good thing. I am revisiting this tonight because I was visiting the WFOT website and I saw one of their banner ads. The ad was for Schoodles , and the ad said "Changing the way therapists around the world assess children." Kudos to the advertising people at Schoodles because I almost never click on banner ads but I never heard of this assessment tool and was intrigued by the claim. Perhaps the Schoodles people will be sorry that I clicked because I don't really have anything flattering to say about their statements or philosophy. This Schoodles product is antithetical to evidence based practice. Although I understand and