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When OTs Wore White Shoes

Explaining Disability to Children
February 22, 2016 1:56 PM by Debra Karplus
Growing up in Chicago and its north suburban areas in the 1950s and 60s, I have absolutely no recollection of ever seeing anyone in person, in television, or in movies who had a disability. In a way, it's ironic that I ended up choosing a career as an Read More...
Spinal Stenosis
February 17, 2016 12:16 PM by Debra Karplus
One of my relatives, who is in his eighties, shared with me that though he is in excellent health, he was recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis. He now uses a walker at times to keep him steady on his feet, but he does have a sense of relief that at Read More...
Body Mechanics
January 26, 2016 3:02 PM by Debra Karplus
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 Read More...
The Paralympics
November 10, 2015 11:48 AM by Debra Karplus
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 Read More...
Back in the Pool
August 26, 2015 1:22 PM by Debra Karplus
For about twenty five years, I swam laps in an indoor pool near my house once or twice a day almost daily. My form was never great, and my swim lasted only about twenty minutes. After my swim I'd sometimes stay for use of the steam room or the whirlpool. Read More...
Service Dogs and Occupational Therapy
November 24, 2014 10:34 AM by Debra Karplus
Service dogs have always intrigued me. Our old pooch Harold was smart and, like many service dogs, was part shepherd and Labrador retriever, but Harold was somewhat manic and more interested in chasing Frisbees and terrorizing the postman; He seemingly Read More...
The Manual Muscle Test: Low Tech but Still Widely Used
August 25, 2014 10:38 AM by Debra Karplus
In occupational therapy school, I remember spending one class session learning about the Manual Muscle Test. Like many of the lessons learned in OT school, I didn't have a sense of their impact in an actual clinical setting. So, I did not really take Read More...
Trying to Find the Tomatoes
August 18, 2014 9:01 AM by Debra Karplus
The other day I was out my garden trying to locate the ripe tomatoes so that I could pick them. Admittedly, this year, for no particular reason, I had planted the little tomato plants way to close to each other. So now, at harvesting time, I have had Read More...
Splint Making for Dummies
May 12, 2014 10:20 AM by Debra Karplus
I wish there'd been a book called Splint Making for Dummies when I was a neophyte OT. Splint-making is challenging. When I became employed as an OT, I had only minimal experience with splints. Fortunately for me, I fabricated splints a handful of times Read More...
Equestrian Therapy and OT
March 17, 2014 9:41 AM by Debra Karplus
I'm definitely not a "horse person." I grew up in the suburbs where the only animals in close vicinity were people's pet poodles and schnauzers and an occasional Siamese cat or canary or goldfish. At age seven, my best friend, who shared my birthday, Read More...
Cursive Writing as Part of OT
February 17, 2014 8:34 AM by Debra Karplus
If you are of a certain age, you probably remember that once you entered the third grade, penmanship was one of the subjects on your report card along with English, reading, and arithmetic. Every classroom bulletin board displayed charts of how capital Read More...
Wheelchair Wonders
February 4, 2014 8:30 PM by Debra Karplus
I came to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in August 1970 as a freshman; I was immediately accepted into the occupational therapy program. At the time, I had no clue that the UIUC campus was one of the first nationwide to be wheelchair Read More...
Yoga as OT Practice
January 27, 2014 11:01 AM by Debra Karplus
Performing heavy lifting at home without bending at the knees was simply stupid, given the decades of experience I have as an occupational therapist. As a result, the soreness in my lower back ranged in intensity throughout each day and I awoke each morning Read More...