A personal learning network (PLN) is a network that an individual can create online that is heavily integrated into their field. For me, this is following top organizations, such as the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) or other large health companies like Center for Diseases Control & Prevention (CDC). I also enjoy following famous or popular scholars in my field so I can get the most up to date literature and news about what is going on in my field. My PLN great to engage in scholarly and even friendly communicating with others in my field. It helped me create bridges and connection for possible future work or even to create future references to go to for help in certain situations. I can communicate with my current colleagues in IDS and even actually talking to an individual that I will be going to graduate school at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) with this upcoming fall semester (2019.
My PLN is weaved heavily into the Occupational Therapy and a little into other disciplines such as the health sciences and psychology. The other disciplines that make up my profession are still used, however, they are not large enough for me to fully dive into them with my PLN without hindering my other major ones. It is not easy to develop a large PLN and it takes a lot of time and interactions. Mine is still small, but by following top scholars in the field as well as top organizations I am starting to get my foot in my favoriting tweets of people under the top scholars. The more public and active I am this process will go quicker. The more I use my PLN the more I understand how this is shared as well. People in the Occupational Therapy field share their ideas throughout all social media, not just twitter which my PLN is mostly on. I follow many other accounts on other apps such as Instagram Many posts are attention-grabbing titles and pictures that are linking articles so you can find the information for yourself as well.
In the start of my PLN as I was in undergrad and I did not want to be very public because I felt I did not have enough education in the subject, however, as I am about to graduate and enter graduate school I am excited to start talking and posting more. I have begun posting weekly literature review post for my followers and they have been getting some interaction as you will see below. This is important because It will let me network and talk to other scholars from all over. Therefore, when I graduate school I will have many people to talk to and referrer for jobs. I have a widget on the left side of my blog with all my tweets and my account is @DEEOT04. I am excited to start seeing more interactions and notifications above my apps as this means I have others interacting with me and starting to gain a presence in my field. My overall goal for my PLN is not to become famous or the most popular individuals, however, after is all over an I am pursuing a career I am hoping all the connections I have created will lead to the best position for me.
The focus on my IDS major is to incorporate information from disciplines such as biology, psychology, health sciences, and social sciences educate me with the basic literature to pursue a Masters in Occupational Therapy (OT). In my IDS Essay, I go further into depth about all the class and disciplines and just exactly how they benefit towards my program. Taking literature from all these disciplines will help me get a better understanding of perspective and allow me to communicate with people of all disciples and educations. This is important because in the clinic and working world we need to be able to convey our diagnoses and plans of rehabilitation to other occupations such as coaches, doctors, therapist, and even parents of the patient. It is also important to help get the underlying traits to work in a transdisciplinary project with other scholars and city workers to better the community as a whole.
My Applied Project (AP) and Research Article (RA) is a showcase of work that incorporates work throughout different disciplines but in the end, the finished project shows how all these different perspectives can be used to create an OT focused topic that is beneficial for my education and career path. For my AP I created an informative handheld pamphlet, that can be printed, outlining key points to educate OT’s and anyone that it may concern on the proper steps and rehabilitation of the individuals motor or cognitive problems. I created this because it is important for OT to understand this as this is one of the many pathological problems that have to help individuals with, however, many do not know that it also happens in young adults more than expected. This project benefited my education because I had incorporate disciplines such as health science, more specifically motor education, and psychology to fully provide the best information in the pamphlet.
In my RA I researched Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) because the prevalence rate of this disorder is increasing throughout the years. This research mostly focused on the disciplines of biology and psychology because we need to understand both the anatomy of the body and how the brain works. It is important that OT’s get the best evidence-based practice in the literature so they can develop programs and services that can help people with ASD most effectively. This is important to not only my education but too many others pursuing a career in OT. As the prevalence rate increases more patients will come in for therapy and I need to help patients develop, recover, improve, and maintain skills that are needed for their daily living and working.
This year has been one filled with all the classes I have taken in my contract coming full circle. As I complete courses I have looked at problems such as diseases illness from the different perspectives of all the disciplines and understand these problems as a whole. Assignments like my RA and AP help me to be able to show and refine my ability to incorporate my broad understanding of all these problems and use it under a singular profession and show how to solve or look at these problems a new way. This will help me in my future now as I enter graduate school next fall to narrow down on the key aspects of OT, but still, stand out and provide new and interesting ways to look problems to my colleagues.
An occupational therapist (OT) will work with individuals who have suffered strokes to help them, return to work as efficiently as possible. However, there is a stigma that stroke only occur in older people and that is simply not true. Young adults suffer from a stroke as well and their loss of function may be more detrimental because they are in the prime of their lives with a lot of daily tasks and responsibilities.
I created an informative handheld pamphlet, that can be printed, outlining key points to educate OT’s and anyone that it may concern on the proper steps and rehabilitation of the individuals motor or cognitive problems. This can also be left outside in health clinics waiting rooms for families whose loved one has suffered a stroke so they can read and be informed as best as possible.
As my senior semester is slowly coming to an end I wanted to blog post to represent my experience and feelings as a whole. This has been a long journey and I begin a whole new one next fall semester in graduate school. The same can be said for Chase in this success story. He had a long journey of rehabilitation, but at the end of the day got through it and his new life began.
At the age of three Chase and his brother CJ went to Disney World with his family. During this trip, Chase became very sluggish and was just not his normal cheerful self stated his mother Chisa. During their trip, they took Chase to the emergency room where they found Chase’s blood pressure was extremely high and he was not responding to fluid given to him for dehydration. They then sent him to the hospital where they found out that he had a strain of the flu and went into septic shock. Chase suffered a brain hemorrhage as well which required emergency service and placed him in a medically induced coma.
As months went by the sepsis caused blood clotting and therefore caused the tissues in his hands and feet from not getting enough nourishment. Amputation was Chase’s’ only option and when he woke up his parents told him that we would robot hands and feet and he responded a big “OK!”. Chase went to CHOP and had daily sessions with an interdisciplinary team of occupational, physical, and speech therapists. The team took very well to his personality his mother stated. Chase spent months with ups and downs working hard on how to walk and adapt with his prosthetic. After getting accustomed tp his prosthetic legs. he was back playing sports such as track, baseball, and soccer. Now at the age of 8 Chase shows everyone that you can do anything that you set your mind to. He even participated in the 2018 Adaptive Sports USA Junior Nationals competition and won three gold medals in track and field. Chase has his entire life ahead of him, a quote by his mother read “Like most kids, Chase has new ideas all the time of what he hopes to be when he grows up,” says Chisa. “One day it’s a teacher, and the next it’s an athlete. Chase is here with us for a reason, and we can’t wait to see what life has in store for him!”
Occupational therapist (OT) work with many individuals with varies mental illnesses and injuries through therapeutic interventions of everyday activities. They help patients develop, recover, improve, and maintain skills that are needed for daily living and working. Overall, helping them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state of life. While OT’s work with a wide range of people, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is becoming more prevalent within the past years. It is estimated that in 2007 about every 1 out of 150 individuals will be diagnosed with ASD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2007). With the increases in prevalence rate, comes a high need for services and programs that effectively promote and incorporate the participation of individuals with ASD as students, family members, and workers. OT’s are among one of the only professionals that are educated and design interventions to help individuals with ASD accomplished this lifestyle. Therefore, it is important that OT’s get the best evidence-based practice in the literature so they can develop programs and services that can help people with ASD most effectively.
ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. It has an onset that generally appears at around the age of two years old. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a guide used to diagnose mental disorders, they state individuals with ASD have three of these factors.
“Difficulty with communication and interaction with other people, restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, and symptoms that hurt the person’s ability to function properly in school, work, and other areas of life” (DSM).
Communication symptoms can include lack of eye contact, unmatching expressions to what is being said, listening problems, and not understanding others people points of view. While some behavioral symptoms can include sensitivity to light and sound, upset with slight routine changes, echolalia, and overly focused on particular subjects. An individual can be diagnosed with ASD by a doctor looking at the person’s behavior and development. This generally happens in two stages, the first beginning in general developmental screenings during checkups. This is where concerns can be noticed and risk can be assessed for ASD. An example of an individual with high risk may have a family member with ASD or was born with a low birth weight. The second stage is additional evaluation were a team of doctors and other health physicians who are experienced in diagnosing ASD. This team may include a child psychologist, neuropsychologist, and a speech-language pathologist which may even include blood work and hearing tests. This procedure may be more difficult with adults as some of the ASD symptoms may overlap with other mental health disorders. ASD is a complex disorder as it exists around a spectrum because there is wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people experience. ASD also occurs in all ethnic, racial, and economic groups. It can be a lifelong disorder however, treatments and services can improve a person’s symptoms and ability to function. This is why it is key to understand the most effective interventions in the literature that an OT can implement in their practice as ASD is becoming more prevalent.
The best interventions and programs that help an individual with ASD are the ones that focus on the underlying problems. These interventions focus on the occupational and performance problems of social interaction, delayed or deficit language, behavioral problems, and sensory-processing difficulties. All of the symptoms are predominant characteristics that interfere with participation in schools and community activity. With young children, it is good to focus on enhancing the child’s sensory processing, sensorimotor performance, social–behavioral performance, self-care, and participation in play. This early intervention in these symptoms will help the individual develop cognitively and behavioral as they grow older. In adolescents, it is key to focus on social and behavioral performance, the transition to work, and independence in the community. This intervention will help them establish themselves in the working world as they begin to prosper and think on their own. It is important to understand that every individual is different and each individual falls differently on the spectrum. When implementing interventions and developing programs we can not go down the lift of them. We must incorporate the individual’s goals and their characteristics to develop their own personalized intervention program.
As stated above it is key to focus on sensory-based intervention with younger children diagnosed with ASD. Sensory information is what our body used to take in information from the outside world. This can include hearing, touch, and sight. Sensory-based intervention incorporates techniques such as massaging, brushing, and auditory integration.
“Sensory-based interventions, such as those that provide therapeutic touch, can decrease maladaptive behaviors, reduce hyperactivity, inhibit self-stimulation and stereotypic movements, and improve attention and focus” (Escalona, Field, Singer-Strunck, Cullen, & Hartshorn, 2001; Field et al., 1997).
The most evidenced-based intervention is massaging; when implemented daily it can improve attention and reduce stereotypic sensory behaviors. A study completed by Escalona et al. (2001) compared children with ASD who received massage administered by their parents every night for a month to a comparison group whose parents read to them every night. The children who received massage showed a reduction in hyperactivity, decreased impulsivity, and also an improvement for on-task behaviors. The best approach the therapy is to have a variety of interventions that try to accomplish the same goal. This allows options of interventions that best fit the patient. Auditory integration training (AIT) is another intervention that has some literature that backs it up. With AIT children listen to modulated music through headphones several times a day for an average of 10 or more consecutive days. Edelson et al. (1999) showed positive in a long-term randomized clinical trial; this trial found that participants who received the AIT improved more in aberrant behaviors, sound sensitivity, and eye contact. However, in more recent studies AIT was shown to be inclusive so when using AIT OT’s should closely monitor the patient’s behaviors. The goal of sensory integration intervention is to improve the child’s ability to modulate arousal, resulting in well-organized, adaptive responses. However, more research needs to be completed to show the exact effects.
Development Skilled-Based Programs are another set of interventions that OT’s need to be proficient in when dealing with patients that have ASD. These programs are played based; they use patients peers and focus on the strength of the children. The two main programs that are used are the Denver Model (Rogers & DiLalla, 1991) and Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH).
“Programs that emphasize a developmental, play-based approach that emphasizes positive affect, nonverbal communication play, social relationships, and classroom structure have small positive effects” (Rogers, Herbison, Lewis, Pantone, & Rels, 1986)
This intervention is typically used for younger patients and is implemented, hopefully, at the beginning of detection on the diagnosis. They can be found in preschool programs that emphasize on pretend and group play to help social development. While evidence may vary from studies, level II and III studies have shown positive effects.
Skill-Cognitive Training are interventions that are closely related to Developmental Skill-based as they too focus on social skills, however, they are less play based. Skill-Cognitive Training teaches the underlying cultural concepts of social interaction. For example, these could be turn-taking, joint attention, eye contact, and body language. A study showed after 7 months many individuals improved in social problem solving, emotional understanding, and social interactions.
While the use of all these evidence-based interventions are key in rehabilitation and therapy programs with people that have ASD, it is not the only thing. Parent education is a typical and key component not only for OT’s but any practitioners. These parent education programs are designed to meet two goals: The improvement of their child’s performance and the management of their child’s behaviors and decreasing maladaptive behaviors. This is important for parents to learn because it is only possible to be with the therapist a limited amount of times. So it is key for the parents to have the ability to create a consistent home environment for learning and it also helps ease the parents as most often parents want to be involved in their child’s health.
“Parent education about autism and behavior management can improve the parent’s confidence and self-esteem and can The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 423 improve the child’s behavior” (Sofronoff & Farbotko, 2002; Sorfonoff, Leslie, & Brown, 2004).
There is a limit to these training, while we would like the parents to do as much as possible they can not implement interventions themselves. Training parents to implement skill-based interventions has mixed evidence for its effectiveness in promoting the child’s performance. Overall, OT’s us a sensitive family-centered approach, this approach values the family’s priorities and allows members to participate in the intervention as much as possible by providing them with information every step of the way.
As ASD is becoming more and more prevalent each year it is even more important we as practitioners are staying up to date with the most current evidence-based practices that are out. ASD is a social and behavioral disorder interventions such as Developmental-Skill Based Programs and Skill-Cognitive Training focus on the social aspect of the disorder. Targeting the emotional and social interaction aspects on the spectrum of ASD. Sensory-based interventions such as massage and AIT help individuals with their problems of regulating sensory information. These can decrease maladaptive behaviors, reduce hyperactivity, inhibit self-stimulation and stereotypic movements, and improve attention and focus. Rehabilitation and therapy programs of ASD is a transdisciplinary act as it does not only rely on OT’s. We need to be able to talk to other occupations and even implement programs that teach parents how to help their children. We as a whole, coming together, can develop, recover, improve, and maintain skills that are needed for daily living and working in individuals that have ASD.
Audet, L.R., Mann, D.J., & Miller-Kuhaneck, H. (2004). Occupational therapy and speech-language pathology: Collaboration within transdisciplinary teams to improve communication in children with an autism spectrum disorder. In Miller-Kuhaneck, H. (Ed.). Autism: A comprehensive occupational therapy approach (2nd ed.). (pp. 275-307). Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.
Autism Spectrum Disorder. (2018, March). Retrieved April 10, 2019, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml
Case-Smith, J., &
Arbesman, M. (2008). Evidence-based review of interventions for autism used in
or of relevance to occupational therapy. The American Journal of
Occupational Therapy, 62(4), 416.h
Edelson, S. M., Arin, D., Bauman, M., Lucas, S. E., Rudy, J.
H., Sholar, M., et al. (1999). Auditory integration training: A double-blind
study of behavioral and electrophysiological effects in people with autism.
Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 14, 73–81.
Escalona,A., Field,T., Singer-Strunck,R.,CullenC., &
Hartshorn, K. (2001). Brief report: Improvements in the behavior of children
with autism following massagetherapy. Journal of Autism and Developmental
Disorders, 31, 513–516.
Field, T., Lasko, D., Mundy, P., Henteleff, T., Kabat, S., Talpins, S., et al. (1997). Brief Report: Autistic children’s attentiveness and responsivity improve after touch therapy. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27, 333–338.
Rogers, S. J., & DiLalla, D. L. (1991). A comparative study of
the effects of a developmentally based instructional model
on young children with autism and young children with
other disorders of behavior and development. Topics in Early
Childhood Special Education, 11(2), 29–47.
As we know the fields in health sciences are constantly changing as new technology is invented and the literature continues to grow through research. In my efforts to stay up to date my weekly literature post is about heat modalities.
Occupational therapists are constantly using physical agent modalities (PAMs) and we need to understand why and when to use certain PAMs in a work setting. PAMs are interventions that are applied to modify specific client factors such as neurological, musculoskeletal and skin conditions. Heat modalities are used in a multiple setting and are extremely beneficial. It also for soft tissue to be in the therapeutic range, which also for an increase in blood flow, metabolism, oxygen consumption, a decrease in pain, and many other benefits.
There are two types of heat applications which is superficial and deep. Superficial are things such as heat packs and warm water that just warm that top of the tissue. Deep are things such as ultrasound and diathermy that penetrate deep into the client’s tissue. When selecting types of heat modalities it is important to understand where the client is in recovery and to access patients response to treatment by evaluating pain levels, skin color, edema, and range of motion. Heat modalities are common on diagnoses such as lateral epicondylitis, distal radius, carpus tunnel, and many others. This is a key part of the rehabilitation process as heat modalities overall decrease pain and stiffness while improving range of motion and promoting healing.
Just as in every other medically based field, Occupational Therapy is constantly changing as new technology is invented and the literature continues to grow. As practitioners in our field, we must do our best to keep up with the most up to date and current literature available to us. I have discovered three fairly new techniques that are being used in clinical; one of them may take you by surprise
The first technique is largely beneficial for hand rehabilitation, which many occupational therapist specialize in. The tool is sonography and it is used as a teaching tool. A sonography in the past was solely used as a diagnostic tool because it uses imagining instruments to create an image of body movement. Now it can be used to show people visual representations of their muscles, allowing them to see the difference between a normal and abnormal function. At the University of Southern California, they scan patients palms while pinching tweezers, allowing them to learn how to move their fingers.
The second techingue being used at large is LSVT BIG. This modality is specifically for patients with Parkison’s Disease (PD) it is shown to improve the quality of life for patients that are suffering from this disease. Those treated with LSVT BIG demonstrate increases in a larger range of motion movements. Treatment involves the commitment to hour-long sessions, four days weekly for one month. They must copy to OT’s exact movements and do a handful of fine-motor activities. The program also comes with at home tasks that must be completed. In the end the patient is able to move expansively and coordination will slowly become normalized.
The last technique I saved for last and it may be the most interesting and innovative of them all. This technique involves the use of video games. Yes, it is called Virtual rehabilitation and it uses video games to create a real-life context for implementing therapy. Practitioners will use this virtual environment to promote progress while people are having fun developing their skills. The OmniVR is one of these systems, it consists of a 3D camera and a computer software. This enables patients to interact with a virtual world while the therapist tracks activity; m,multiple exercise programs can be used this way. In the end, the video games achieve high levels of engagement and motivation to work harder and longer.
This Precis will outline articles that are key for Occupational Therapist and other practitioners to understand prosthetic for injured athletes. Providing broad information on the topic to essential information on different types and what is best for the specific sport being played.
McCarvill, S. (2005). Essay: Prosthetics for athletes. Lancet, 366, S10–S11.
In McCarvill’s article “Essay: Prosthetics for athletes”(2005), she explains that current challenges and innovations in the prosthetics field. McCarville supports her overview by explaining the challenges that engineers and designers face when designing prosthetics for athletes. She explains that each sports have different implications such as golf requiring a complex, synchronized full-body motion. Her purpose is to identify what each sports demands are and how to determine what prosthetic is the best fit for the sport. This is stated in a professional tone so the message is relayed to scholars in fields of designers, engineers, and therapists.
Highsmith, M. J., Kahle, J. T., Miro, R. M., Cress, M. E., Lura, D. J., Quillen, W. S., … Mengelkoch, L. J. (2016). Functional performance differences between the Genium and C-Leg prosthetic knees and intact knees. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 53(6), 753–766.
In Highsmith’s (etal.) article “Functional performance differences between the Genium and C-Leg prosthetic knees and intact knees.”(2016) they compare functional performance between two different types of prosthetic knees while also comparing them to an intact knee; stating that with TFA did not equal or surpass functional domain compared to intact knees. Highsmith supports his claim by designing a randomized crossover experiment with a control of five non-amputees. The purpose of this study was to suggest that there is room for improvement in the TFA’s functional performance. This study was written in a professional tone to address his claim to therapists and practitioners trying to decide what is the best prosthetic to acquire.
Bragaru, M., Dekker, R., Geertzen, J. H. B., & Dijkstra, P. U. (2011). Amputees and Sports. Sports Medicine, 41(9), 721–740.
In Bragaru’s(etal.) article “Amputees and Sports”(2011) they explain why functional prosthetics for athletes is something that should be used during rehabilitation programs and should be continued after discharge. They support this claim by providing a systematic review of all the literature on biomechanics, cardiopulmonary function, and others. The purpose of this study is to convince practitioners and therapist that participation in sports and physical activity is beneficial for the patient’s overall health. This article was written in a professional tone to address their claim to therapists and practitioners providing rehabilitation services.
Healy, A., Farmer, S., Pandyan, A., & Chockalingam, N. (2018). A systematic review of randomised controlled trials assessing effectiveness of prosthetic and orthotic interventions. PLoS ONE, 13(3), 1–42.
In Healy’s(etal.) article “A systematic review of randomised controlled trials assessing effectiveness of prosthetic and orthotic interventions” (2018) they assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of prosthetics. Mentioning 100 million people (1.5%) are in need prosthetics. Healy supported their claim by conducting a review of randomized controlled trials and assessed them for their effectiveness. The purpose of this is to show practitioners and therapists what is the most effective and cost-effective prosthetics for their clients. This article was written in a professional tone to address their claim to therapists and practitioners giving out prostetics.
Windrich, M., Grimmer, M., Christ, O., Rinderknecht, S., & Beckerle, P. (2016). Active lower limb prosthetics: a systematic review of design issues and solutions. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 15, 5–19.
In Windrich’s(etal.) article “Active lower limb prosthetics: a systematic review of design issues and solutions.” (2016) they assess the functionality of multiple active lower limb prosthetic. Stating that a high-level of control is key for the development of prosthesis. Windrich supports their claim by reviewing the literature and assessing for two key aspects, actuation and control design. The purpose of this is to show practitioners and therapists what features the best lower limb prospects need. This article was written in a professional tone to therapists and practitioners that are trying to find information on lower body proestetics.
For my Applied Project, I would like to work with the Campus Accessibility Services (CAS) at Plymouth State University to come up with innovative ideas from those with disabilities to have equal access to all the university programs and facilities. I will illustrate my involvement and all the information I come away with a reflective paper. This will not only benefit me with knowledge, but there is an applied learning aspect to the project as well. I will enter a transdisciplinary way of working and this is the approach that creates many ideas on the working world. This project will take actions from scholars, to workers, all the way to students; making us all work together to create something that s beneficial for everyone. This hugely relates to my field as we strive to make the daily lives of those who are disabled more productive and independent. At the end of this project, I want to not only have learned new information but to create something that will stay and will help many other students in the future.
I will need to work with my professor at first to figure out the best approach or who to talk at the CAS to see what ideas we can brainstorm. Once an idea is created then we can start on how we would see the idea come to life. Whether it is fundraising or gathering supplies to get the idea in motion. Throughout this entire process, I will be taking notes and reflecting as I work with people from different disciplines and even workers at Plymouth State University. At the end of the entire process, I will write a reflective paper and more importantly have a great project to place on my resume for furthering my education.
I will conduct my research article on the topic of prosthetics. Specifically, on athletes that have lost a limb that want to continue pursuing a life of activity. I want to go in-depth figuring out what prosthetics are best and if they vary for a different activity or sport. I want to find out the best prosthetic in the field in order to help my reader understand what the best prosthetic in the market. The population that I want to speak to is other Occupational Therapist that currently have patients. I want to create a meta-analysis of the most current literature and persuade my readers on to the most beneficial prosthetics. This, in turn, will help OT’s quickly be able to provide the best rehabilitation for their patients. Here are some outline steps as I prepare to begin my research article.
-Fine tune and specify my question (population, injury, etc.) -Conduct an overall literature review -Create a topic question -Create an outline for the paper -Begin writing paper