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Showing posts from March, 2010

The role of occupational therapy for children who have behavioral difficulties

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Behavioral problems in children are sometimes difficult to solve. Caregivers and even professionals often search for what I call an 'easy button' to solve complex problems. I have always believed that using a general systems methodology prevents the inappropriate reduction of complex system problems to single-point causes.

Human beings are meaning-making creatures, however, and that causes us to sometimes reduce complex data into single-points even though it doesn't make sense to do so. As an obtuse example - if you ask the average person what caused the shuttle Challenger to explode they will tell you that it was Morton Thiokol and faulty O-rings. Although that is true, it is more true that there were other factors including cold temperatures, design errors, lack of redundancy, and flawed human communication.

Anyway, my point is that humans like to find single-point answers to problems and that sometimes causes people to come looking for occupational therapy evaluation…

Pediatric occupational therapists: Please check your outrage at the door

I received a lot of email regarding this recent article in the NY Times about occupational therapy. The email I received and online conversations I have scanned included comments like "I can't believe they would say that OT is only for rich people!" or "We need to let people know that this article does not represent what we do!" Although the article got a lot of occupational therapists upset I would like to suggest that we need to perform a reality check on this outrage.

The article comments about how occupational therapy is being used by some more affluent people to promote children's development and how this can be contrasted to a more traditional application of the profession to children who have more severe disabilities. The article offers some incisive opinion that perhaps this kind of trend is a reflection of a larger problem with schools or even a problem culturally with how childhood is being experienced.

Although the online discussions following t…