Showing posts from July, 2008

A Response to "Who Should We Be Treating in EI?"

Dr. Jane Sorensen wrote an opinion piece in the most recent Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners where she muses about which populations of children are best served by occupational therapy services. This opinion piece is one of the most disturbing that I have read in a while. Dr. Sorensen suggests that functional outcomes for severely disabled children are no different when they receive services from skilled professionals as opposed to when they receive maintenance care from people who are less-skilled. She states that occupational therapists should "focus away from the very disabled child and give treatment to those who have a chance in leading full or nearly full functional lives as adults... Let the less-skilled personnel focus on the least functional patients with the poorest prognoses. I think we would be more creative, could get more attention and respect as a profession if we would treat babies who will eventually enter into and take part in the mainstream of our

Unconventional occupational therapy assessments

I attended a meeting today in support of a child receiving occupational therapy to develop accommodations to the middle school curriculum. A school-based therapist completed an occupational therapy evaluation and it contained many assessments that are generally appropriate for children of that age. The school based therapist did not believe that the child qualified for occupational therapy. The child is 12 years old and the evaluation included the Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration, the Motor Free Visual Perception Test, and portions of the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test. By all of these measures the child was functioning within appropriate developmental parameters. The school OT reported that the child could write legibly, could change for physical education class, and manipulate all school materials functionally. So why was I recommending accommodations to the middle school curriculum?? It is true that the child had excellent grades and good handwriting - but these were not the

When good people do nothing...

Edmund Burke's call to arms is apparently lost on some Illinois occupational therapists, at least according to the cover story "The State of EI Practice" in the current Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners . According to the article, some OT practitioners in Illinois are more concerned about not offending their referral sources than in securing the safety of the children in their state who need occupational therapy services. That's a pretty hefty charge. I wonder if it is true. Well now is the time to step up. If there is unsafe practice going on in Illinois and if there is encroachment on the occupational therapy practice act by untrained and unqualified 'developmental therapy practitioners' then I expect to hear a hue and cry from concerned practitioners in Illinois. And if there is silence that will also 'tell' us a lot - that either there is no problem, or that OTs in that state are willing to abdicate their responsibilities because (acco