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ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners is thrilled to welcome you to OT Blogs, part of the Healthcare POV: Blog and Forum Community from ADVANCE. Our new blogs offer posts covering timely questions, advice and opinions about the occupational therapy field. Please take a moment to read our bloggers' bios to learn more about each of them. We have provided tags to assist in locating topics of interest. And feel free to use the comment area after each blog entry to interact with our bloggers. We look forward to hearing more about the occupational therapy field from your Point of View (POV).
February 4, 2016 1:16 PM by Brian Ferrie of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

Every year, professionals, students and prospective students across the country eagerly await "The 100 Best Jobs" ranking published by U.S. News & World Report. The just-released 2016 list offers great reason for occupational and physical therapy professionals to feel proud, and for students to feel ...

February 1, 2016 10:47 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

I've written a couple of other blogs here about yoga; one was a general article about the benefits of yoga for our patients and for ourselves, and the other blog was about my experience trying laughter yoga at a local park district event.

My personal interest in yoga comes from the fact that I sometimes attend a variety of different kinds of yoga classes offered by various places here in my hometown. I ...

January 26, 2016 3:02 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

A friend of mine had a successful career as a dental hygienist but ultimately needed to "retire" much sooner than she would have wanted to due to carpal tunnel syndrome and other problems in her wrists and hands which she attributes to the required body position necessary to perform the tasks of a dental hygienist. She pursued a completely different career as a librarian, which she insists has been far easier on her ...

January 18, 2016 9:24 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

The other day I drove by the local Bloodmobile parked in front of a large downtown bank near my house. It brought to mind an old fantasy that I had entertained for years, but never actually acted on it. 

During most of my years working as an occupational therapist, my market niche was rural Central Illinois. My clients were basically facilities and agencies that were unable to find an occupational therapist ...


A. only got two days off for Fall Break this year, but I made an executive decision to allow her to "play hooky" for the remainder of the week so that the entire family could take a trip to Fort Walton Beach, Florida in the middle of October. (And by "play hooky," I mean keep A. out of school while letting all her teachers know where she was and how long she was going to be out of class. Because I'm a sucker and play ...

January 12, 2016 2:43 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

Passionate about genealogy, I learned a long time ago that my grandparents and those before them were immigrants -- mainly from Ukraine, Kiev, Pale of Settlement, Poland and Hungary. My ancestors came to America between 1880 and 1921 through Ellis Island and other American and Canadian ports, knowing little to no English. They were part of the "melting pot" that assimilated into American life, learning ...

January 8, 2016 12:03 PM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

In her latest big move toward winning the primary elections, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced in Iowa this week her agenda to improve the lives of Americans with Autism. So far, no other presidential candidate has forthrightly spoken about the need for improvements to Autism services and research. "We need more services; we need more support; we need to make sure that the families dealing with autism ...

January 8, 2016 11:23 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

Working in psychiatry, I'm constantly meeting people desperately in need of something to make them feel better. I'm not suggesting seeking "things" is bad or wrong, but the reality is that improved moods caused by "things" (e.g., coffee, food, $, TV, etc.) are quite fleeting. You've probably noticed that, most of the time, it's not very long before we are in pursuit of the next "thing" to make us feel better.  ...

December 23, 2015 4:55 PM by Brian Ferrie of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), Bethesda, Md., has issued a press release revealing that on Dec. 8, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the


On Labor Day weekend, we took the whole family to Atlanta, Georgia, to completely immerse ourselves in geek culture at an event called Dragon Con. For those of you who don't know, Dragon Con is a large, multi-genre convention geared at fans of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, and pop culture.

This year, a little over 70,000 people attended this convention. That's almost half the entire population of the city ...

November 24, 2015 3:02 PM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) announced in a news release Friday that the state of New York just became the final state to enact a licensure law for occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) following Hawaii, who enacted their licensure law for OTs and OTAs in July 2014. The law will ...

November 23, 2015 10:20 AM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

A new client that started really took to these teachings. This formerly depressed woman looked bright as sunshine the next day and was excited to tell me how she'd been implementing what she was learning.

Essentially, she was becoming more aware of awareness and was already able to make more empowering choices. Clearly, something really impacted her. I wanted to find out what she found most helpful, so ...

November 10, 2015 11:48 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

I am a member of the Neighborhood Services Advisory Board here in my town. Via a recent city event, I met a lovely young woman who is employed by the city's public works department, specifically recycling. Over dinner, several of us started talking and I discovered that this woman was also involved in Paralympic Volleyball. Confused why that such a very poised and able-bodied ambulatory woman was involved in sports ...

November 5, 2015 11:21 AM by Brian Ferrie of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF), Bethesda, Md., issued a press release in late October announcing research priorities to work toward its vision of a vibrant science that builds knowledge to support effective, evidence-based ...


I would like to apologize to my readers for my lack of entries and posts over the past couple of months. As a writer, I don't really believe there's ever a *good* reason to *not* be writing, but if there was one, I feel like I would probably have it right now.

My mother - and A.'s grandmother, whom she has affectionately called "Grasshopper" ever since she was a small child - has been diagnosed with stage IV ...

October 30, 2015 12:13 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

You probably have never heard of either Ray Spooner or Lynda Holman but both could use your help. Ray is a 56 year old nurse midwife living here in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. I have known him and his family for many years. Ray is a fascinating man with many interests. I attended his Bar Mitzvah earlier this year. He did an amazing job reading portions of The Torah. At times, he was difficult to understand, not because ...

October 27, 2015 11:18 AM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

It seems that I attend a lot of funerals these days, mostly of parents of my friends. At this recent funeral, the deceased had been a lively 93 years old. A bad fall at home and a nasty bump on the head lead to complications that ended her life rather quickly.  

At the meal after the funeral service, I shared with a few people that I was an occupational therapist and that many of my patients, particularly ...

October 16, 2015 3:36 PM by Dillon Stickle of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

This blog was written by Debra Karplus, author for the blog "When OTs Wear White Shoes." 

In the 1960s and '70s, a good number of baby boomers, post-war people born between the years 1946 and 1964, were rolling, lighting up, and passing around marijuana joints. (Just for the record, that activity was never part of my repertoire!) Now, forty or so years later, those same people are concerned ...

October 16, 2015 1:09 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

In the 1960s and '70s, a good number of baby boomers, post-war people born between the years 1946 and 1964, were rolling, lighting up, and passing around marijuana joints. (Just for the record, that activity was never part of my repertoire!) Now, forty or so years later, those same people are concerned about a different sort of joint, namely, their knees and hip joints. 

Many of my baby boomer peers ...


There is an amazing local autism group in our area, called Artistic Spectrum, that focuses on providing creative and recreational opportunities for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A. has participated in many of the activities provided by this organization in the past couple of years - from painting pumpkins, to watching A Christmas Carol, to participating ...

October 1, 2015 5:07 PM by Jon Bassett of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

October is Disability Awareness Month. The personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015's Best and Worst Cities for Americans with Disabilities, and recently released the results.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly five million people with disabilities were employed in 2014. However, the unemployment rate for those with a disability continues ...

September 30, 2015 2:58 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

My friend died recently. I don't know the official cause of death, but I definitely know that he had some dementia that became totally debilitating during the last years of his life - so debilitating that he couldn't function on his own or even in an assisted living facility. He spent his final years in a long term care facility near his daughter's home, far away from anything familiar. 

I had met him ...

September 22, 2015 3:18 PM by Debra Karplus of When OTs Wore White Shoes

The Park District here advertises free yoga in one of our most beautiful parks each Saturday morning at nine during the summer months. I enjoy doing yoga, and the word "free" always screams my name, so this activity had been on my bucket list for the past couple years since they first started offering it.

A few weekends ago, I finally had no distractions and nothing keeping me from digging out my yoga mat ...

September 18, 2015 5:29 PM by Brian Ferrie of ADVANCE Outlook: OT

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) just issued a press release this week declaring that hundreds of OT clinicians, educators, and students from across the United States will meet with elected officials Sept. 28 on Capitol Hill. They intend to discuss key legislative ...

September 16, 2015 3:44 PM by Dan Eisner of Energizing Healthcare

Yesterday I spoke with an extremely depressed guy with a long history of alcohol abuse. My colleague told me that the doctors were ready to discharge him stating, "There is nothing we can do for him if he does not want to go to rehab."

You didn't have to be Freud to recognize that this guy was trapped inside his depression. His thought process was perpetuating his illness. I couldn't ask him a question without him ...



The ADVANCE for Occupational Therapy Practitioners editorial staff will discuss issues in the occupational therapy profession, current events in healthcare and offer their personal views and tips for your enjoyment.

The Pediatric Perspective blog is a place to come to learn of new and existing strategies for anyone working in Pediatrics or anyone who has a young loved one with occupational therapy needs.  Join Wendy as she shares these strategies along with the struggles and triumphs of being a mom and therapist navigating the Special Education world with her son.

The mother of an autistic girl shares her story about her daughter's sensory issues, the various treatments she has received, and how "living on the spectrum" affects everyday life for her family.

Tim Banish, Sr., COTA, Retired will share his thoughts on important issues such as COTA salaries, productivity requirements, and the current changes in healthcare. My main focus will be issues older Americans are facing and long term care.

Dan Eisner is a psychiatric OT in the department of psychiatry at the University of MD Medical Center and a private certified coach at http://www.keyinsightcoaching.com/ with over 15 years experience. Dan has been inspiring thousands of people with his unique blend of services which includes a basic understanding of mind-body science, emotional intelligence, and practical spirituality.

Iris Kimberg MS PT, OTR,  CEO of NYTherapyGuide, will keep therapists current on issues, trends and opportunities in the private sector.

Occupational therapy has changed a lot over the past four decades, and it continues to evolve. Follow Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L as she shares the wisdom that comes with being a seasoned occupational therapist.