Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Therapeutic Animals

Some Occupational Therapists specialise in various ways of combining animals with treatment. There are a few different ways in which animals can enhance Occupational Therapy. Pet Therapy is one, learning to use a service dog is another. Some animals integrated into therapy are those one might have as pets, hence the term Pet Therapy. Some will incorporate horses and horse riding as part of therapy.

The video below outlines some of the beautiful benefits of using or integarting dogs as part of therapy.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Respecting those with Disabilities - 1

What do you think of when seeing someone in a wheelchair, on crutches or looking a bit different to the norm?

Are you able to talk to them just as you would to others?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Baby Care and Development 3

Poor head and neck cotrol, diffiulty rolling and inability to crawl are some reasons why a baby might be referred to a Paediatric Occupational Therapist. The best way to assist your baby is with early intervention.

In the video that follows, 5 tips are provided to improve your baby's tummy time. Tummy time is essential to ensure healthy and normal development. Don't wait until your baby is 8 months old or more and cries when you put her on her tummy. Don't wait until your baby is 11 months old and unable to either crawl or enjoy even 2 minutes on her tummy. Learn these few skills and help your baby to get used to the idea of tummy time from new born.

If your baby struggles with any of the activities demonstrated in the video below, ask your Paediatrician to evaluate and request a referral to an experienced and authentic occupational therapist

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

Do you recognise this series of events in the video below?

Do you have similar symptoms to the lady in the video below?

If you answered yes, you might very well benefit from Occupational Therapy. 
How productive would you say the woman in the video was? 
How about disciplined? 
What was her concentration like? 
Did she acomplish anything she set out to?
Would you say she is functional?

Do you have any ideas as to what you would do to assit her to achieve her original goal? Do you remember what the goal was? 

So how about we begin by evaluating what is required to enable her to achieve her initial goal. 
The first step might be to formulate the goal and to decide whether the priority is to clean her car or to tidy and organize her home so as to ensure all distractions are out the way.

There are various tools, techniques and methods to assist her to increase productivity and reduce aimless faffing.

These are just a few of the many areas an OT will look at both in evaluating someone's occupational performance and enabling them to function to the optimum. If your day-to-day routine looks anything like the one outlined above ask your doctor to refer you to a competent, registered and licensed occupational therapist in your region. There are many areas to evaluate and structured, standardised evaluations that will enable the occupational therapist to identify the areas that require intervention. Don't allow your life to slip by while you run around doing a lot of nothing.

Occupational Therapy is an amazing profession and yes there is a lot that Occupational Therapy can provide to enable you to function to the optimum. Make sure though to book your sessions with an authentic Occupational Therapist, nt someone who picked up a book or read a few blog posts and thinks they can assist.

This post is prepared for you by
Shoshanah Shear
Experienced, Registered and Licensed Occupational Therapist

Monday, 12 December 2011

Infant Massage Saves a Premmies Life

Some years ago, I read an article of a woman who had saved her baby by giving him infant massage immediately post birth. The healing benefits of skin to skin contact between mother and new born are infinite.

Now, in a rare opportunity we can see for ourselves an interview with parents from Australia who experienced the same amazing miracle by offering their little new born skin to skin contact, love, nurturing words and the gentle soothing touch through baby massage.

If you ever wondered what the benefits of infant massage are, you need wonder no ore. The benefits are many and profound. For new Moms, please do sign up to learn these wonderful techniques and a truely incredible gift. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Baby Care and Development 2

We found an amazing video, one that really should have been the first in this series of posts.

This Video Clip shows the development of a baby from conception to birth. If one watches the video and contemplates the progress that takes place, creation, development and birth really are amazing miracles.

If you have children already, may this video give you greater appreciation of their development during the time you could not see them so readily. May this increse the bond, love and respect between you.

If you are married and do not yet have children, use the video as a form of visualization to give you strength and the information needed to imagine this in your life and home too. May you too be blessed.

This post is prepared for you by Shoshanah of

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Keeping Up With Technology 3

Do you remember the days of research be it for a school project, a new subject or some additional reading on something related to what one is learning at school? It used to be that the main resource for research was at a library.

With the developments of technology, so much research can be done by children and adults via the internet. There are benefits for this and problems.

Let us take a look at a few benefits. If a child is home with a few days ill in bed, an assignment might be possible to research, depending of course on the nature of the illness, from home via the internet. One can find video clips, images, articles or go onto social networking sites and ask others pertinent questions that will assist towards obtaining the information required.

If someone has a disability, whether or not the local library is accessible does not matter if the person can operate a computer and obtain information as above.

The learning experience to a certain extent can become more alive. Imagine a child learning geography related to a given continent. Information is no longer limited to what one finds in books, it is possible to view mini tours of certain places online. It is possible to hear the words, language and pronouciation of the language of the country a child is learning about. How exciting, or is it?

The problems arise with what additional information or images a child might accidentally stumble over in their attempt to complete their assignment, project or homework. Certain information we do NOT want our children to see or to know of. This might be news or other problem areas and topics.

How can we protect our children while still permitting them to make use of the benefits?

Here is one brief clip of how to know what sites your children are accessing. 

We hope this information has been useful for you. 
Did the video clip provide enough information for you? What else would you like to know so as to protect your precious children whie guiding them to develop, learn and grow to their fullest? 

Prepared for you by 
Shoshanah Shear 
Occupational Therapy R

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Occupational Therapy and Fine Motor Skills with Kids

I often receive enquiries as to what Occupational Therapy can do to assist children with fine motor difficulties. Why should a parent take their child to Occupational Therapy.

Many tasks we carryout with children might look like just playing or just doing a craft activity. The video below is a beautiful illustration of how much more is involved in Occupational Therapy.

I hope you enjoyed the video clip.

If you have any questions, please post a comment or ask your question at the bottom of this post. 

Remember, if you have a question, there just might be other parents who have the same question and were not sure who to ask or how to phrase the question. So plesae do post your comment and question, giving others the opportunity to learn further from you and any discussion that transpires. 

Shoshanah Shear 
Occupational Therapist R

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Keeping Up To Date With Technology - 2

Keeping up to date with technology is the theme of this series of posts. We have all kinds of ideas to share here.

Something that has become popular with the improvements of technology is the use of the computer and the internet. The internet has become a world of its own, opening doors to many.

For a stay at home mom, the internet can provide some kind of social interaction, support with other new moms, a forum to ask questions and remain anonymous if she so desires. For someone whose health is presenting with problems, the internet provides all manner of other benefits.

A popular leisure time activity which for some has become work is that of blogging. Developing a blog rather like this one and using this as a forum to share ones thoughts and experiences has become a common part of many households and daily routines.

Blogging, social networking, developing a website, learning online are all some of the many ways that the Internet can become beneficial. Whether you wish to use these to meet like minded people, to obtain some support, to develop some kind of income from home, or to voice your experience and journey, the question is often where to begin. Lack of undertanding about all these new features and options can be a major barrier to self expression and development. 

In order to find out how to set up a blog, or how to set up your info on FaceBook and other Social Networking forums. In order to find out how to monetise your efforts here is an excellent blog. The author is learned in computers, has a great sense of humour and includes both practical information; step-by-step how to; thoughts to consider and master if your goal is success financially and more.

So check out this site, its called Millionaire Reality and then come back for the next post on keeping up to date with technology.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Coma and Positioning

In addition to appropriate stimulation that is administered by an authentic, registered and licensed occupational therapist, a person in a coma needs to be positioned correctly. 

What is the correct position? Well that depends on the nature of injury or illness that resulted in the person being in a coma. If there is a hemiplegia (paralysis of one side) the position is to normalise muscle tone and maintain range of movement. If there are fractures, the positioning becomes complicated but still important.

The point being that a comatosed person can not remain in one position for too long. Neither should the position be one that would result in either bed-sores or contractures developing. 

How do you know what position is best for the comatosed person?
If you are a lay person, you don't know, but you can learn from this post that the position is important and yet another reason to refer to a neuro-occupational therapist to evaluate the patient and teach both nursing staff and family what positoin is most effective when in a chair, what position when lying in bed. Where cushions should be placed, what to do to maintain the position of the feet for standing and walking and much more.

This post has been prepared for you by 

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist R, Healing Facilitor
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certififed Kallah Teacher

Friday, 18 November 2011

Keeping up with Technology

There is so much to share in the world of Occupational Therapy. Those following this blog might remember that we have a few themes on the go. This next group or series of posts will be all about "Keeping up with Technology" from an Occupational Therapy perspective of course.

Occupational Therapy is all about function. Technology when used correctly can improve and enhance function, saving time, conserving energy and freeing up much needed time for family, friends and leisure pursuits.

But there are setbacks, things to consider, plan for, watch out for etc.

We might look at a few daily living tasks and how technology has improved them.
We might take a look at theapy in general and use of technology in Therapy.

Then there is the new dimension of TeleHealth, TeleRehabilitation, Cybertherapy etc. Do you know what these terms are? Are you famliar with them? Are they helping or hindering appropriate relationships and effective therapeutic intervention.

We want to hear your thoughts too, so please make your comment.

Till next time, have a wonderful weekend and a restful Shabbat

This post has been prepared for you by 

Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist R
Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher

Thursday, 10 November 2011

One man's creativity brings joy to his dog

In Occupational Therapy, we often manufacture, design, fabricate and or recommend various assistive devices that enable people to function optimally. 

The video clip below demonstrates someone' creativity in designing his own device to enable his dog to play happily without the need for the family to throw ball for it. This ingenious device can be of benefit to others for vary many reasons. 

Imagine someone who is needing bedrest for a period of time and unable to care for his dog.
Perhaps there is a new addition to the family and a few months might transpire with less time to play with the family dog. Or, there is a business assignment taking up ones time.

For those who are disabled but still wish to have a pet or who have a service dog, this device can help too.

Whatever the reason, this clearly shows insight to the needs of the dog, skill in training it and creativity and skill in designing and manufacturing this wonderful device.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Alleviating Back Pain - 2

What type of pillow to use that best suits your neck and back is a topi cof quite some controversy.

Here are a few video clips that might help to shed light on important information to help you decide what best suits your body.

How to find a pillow:

How to make a towel roll:

For another option, the Therapeutic Pillow:

As you might become aware, your posture is important for a healthy back. Posture while sleeping has an effect on your back too. There are many pillows on the market. Explore some of the other YouTube videos on this topic or visit your local Physio, Chiropractor or back specialist for guidance as to what can assist you to enjoy maximum funciton with least amount of pain. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Is Your Occupational Therapist Authentic?

Occupational Therapy (Abbreviated as OT) is a wonderful profession with all manner of techniques and methods to enable others to be independent and reach their goals. What some people don't realise, or if they do they ignore, is that Occupational Therapy is a RECOGNIZED Profession. Anyone who practises occupational therapy has to have completed a university degree in Occupational Therapy. In addition a qualified and practising occupational therapist does need to register with either a Medical and Dental Council or Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education or similar depending on the country. Every country has an association of Occupational Therapy and there is a World Federation of Occupational Therapy. The point being, it is a ligitimate and specific PROFESSION.

There are, unfortunately, many out there who state in their bio that they offer Occupational Therapy and yet do not have the credentials. There are, in today's time, many options on the internet for seeking advise with an expert. If you wish to seek advise in Occupational Therapy, do yourself a favour and check out if they are authentic.

Please note, although counselling is an integral part of Occupational Therapy, Counselling does not equal occupational therapy and someone qualified only as a counsellor can not claim to offer occupational therapy.

Although Occupational Therapy does cover how a person functions in the work place, a doctor dealing with Occupational Health is still a doctor and not an occupational therapist. The only time a doctor can call him/herself an occupational therapist is if s/he has a doctorate in Occupational Therapy, or is trained in both, with credentials for both and NOT if he is an MD who likes to advise about working conditions.

Occupational Therapists do use all manner of activities and occupations as a medium of treatment, this falls under the principles of the profession. However, someone who does Yoga or singing or art or any other activity with a person, CAN NOT say that equals Occupational Therapy, unless they have a degree in the profession. That means, if someone is a yoga teacher - as I have seen advertised on the net- s/he teaches yoga and is not offering occupational therapy no matter how much s/he likes to think s/he is.

If on the other hand an occupational therapist is trained also in teaching Yoga, this OT can combine both, but then they are qualified to do so.

Unfortunately, one can not even trust a sign on a door saying Occupational Therapist. You do need to check that whoever is claiming to be an Occupational Therapist is in fact authentically one. If they are, they will have a degree to show and have no problem in doing so.

Although the term sounds great and many dont realise that the term actually describes a specific profession, please be careful. Do check who you are working with or considering working with. If the person can not provide a recognized, authentic degree and registration with the appropriate bodies, chances are they are not qualified as an Occupational Therapist. Even if they have witnessed many OT sessions, observation does not make you into a professional. Training and taking the necessary evaluations and clinical placements and procedures does.

You can also contact organizations such as American Association for Occupational Therapy, World Federation of Occupational Therapy, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa or the OT Association in the country where you live. In addition, most major universities that have a Medical Faculty, will have a Department of Occupational Therapy.

You don't need to be fooled. There is information available from recognized sources. Contact them and find out what you need to know. When it comes to your health and wellbeing and working in succeeding in life, work with those who are authentic. If someone is posing as a therapist that they are not qualified to be, chances are their time with you will not be in an honest manner either.

Go for Authenticity. You deserve the best and will get it from those who are who or what they say they are.
This article is prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear, Occupational Therapist R
All articles on this blog are copyright and may not be used without permission of the author.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

World Occupatioal Therapy Day

If you are an entry level OT or wishing to progress in your professional development, research and practice, here is a unique opportunity. A group of 6 Occupational Therapists have joined efforts to put together a 24 hour online learning to co-incide with 
World Occupational Therapy Day.

The learning is all online in the virtual classroom of University of Salford. 

Learning for this 24 hour program is absolutely FREE!

The learning schedule begins on 26th October 2011 at 6 pm UTC which is 7 pm UK time and 8 pm Israel time.

To learn more about it, view the schedule and sign up for classes do visit



Alleviating Back Pain - 1

Some years ago, I was involved in research to set up a Back Rehabilitation Clinic at the hospital in which I was working at the time. Yes, Occupational Therapy does have a role to play in assisting those suffering from Back Pain. 

Much of the work that we, as Occupational Therapists do in this area relates to education regarding Principles of Back Protection, Ergonimics including how you are sleeping and appropriate positioning / seating and more.

For anyone who reads this blog you might have become aware that Occupational Therapy is very practical and the service or intervention we provide is therefore very practical in nature.

Occupational Therapists also work closely within the medical team. 

Over a few posts, we hope to share some thoughts, ideas and information that is important to those experiencing back pain in order to help to reduce your pain and improve your function and quality of life.

The video below is the first of several we hope to share that provides some useful information.

We hope you enjoyed and benefited from the post and video. If you have specific questions related to backs, backcare, principles of back protection or Occupational Therapy, please do be in touch, so that we can cater to your specific needs as far as possible.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Tips to Prevent Burns over Yom Tov

 Guest Post by Chaya Malka Burn Foundation
Tips to prevent burns in your home  for Sweet, Safe and Successful New Year  Hot liquids - from Shabbos urns, soups and foods - cause most of the burns during these holidays, while candles and fires cause the rest. Together with HaShem’s help, we can prevent these burns from happening.
1)      Keep the Shabbos hot water urn far to the back of the counter. Make sure the cord is not dangling. 

2)       Turn your pot handles to the back of the stove or Shabbos plata.

3)      Keep children out of the kitchen and away from the candles.

4)    Be aware that toddlers can easily pull the tablecloth from their highchairs or pull the tablecloth corners from the floor, spilling hot liquids on themselves.

5)      Keep your lit candles away from curtains and children.  Take care not to leave them burning alone in the Succah.

6)      Most ladies’ burns happen while transferring containers of hot liquids, soups or cholent, and while reaching into the oven to pull out foods.  Use oven mitts to protect your delicate flesh from burning.

7)      Rest and renew your energy. Just sitting down for a brief 5 or 10 minutes before doing “just one more thing” will help renew your energy and strength and keep you more aware. More burns happen when we’re tired.

8)      Keep candies and treats away from stoves, Shabbos urns and candles since children love to climb up to help themselves to treats.

9)      While admiring your beautifully set table, take a moment to glance around the room for fire hazardslike aprons hung near  the stove, highchairs too close to hot liquids, hanging cords or candles set up near curtains .
     10)  Have a First Aid Plan for Burns. Immediately cool burns with water. Readers of the CMBF Burn Prevention newsletters report success using honey and saran wrap to seal the burn; or using vitamin E; Aloe Vera; olive oil and even cool coffee grinds on “minor” burns. Stay calm, we find Rescue Remedy is very calming.  Have emergency numbers handy. Get help when needed! 
A burn that happens in just seconds can take years to heal for 3rddegree!

For more information of the work Chaya Malka does with her Burn Foundation, please email her directly. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

What does an OT need to Evaluate?

Can you answer the following?
Person calling re potential OT "Hi, my relative was evaluated and needs OT for x can you assist?"
OT explains s/he can assist and that the procedure includes reading doctor or other relevant reports and evaluating the child prior to discussing and establishing treatment goals.
Person calling: "We just had an evaluation from a doctor with a report, do you really need to evaluate?"
I posed the above scenario as a question to some laypeople, some are parents of children who have received OT. Here are some insights received:
"The evaluation of the doctor differs from that of a licensed OT. The doctor evaluated whehter or not your child needs an OT. I, the OT need to evaluate what are his/her precise weaknesses that I need to work on, what angle to approach it from, what strenghts the child already posseses so I can incorporate those strengths into the program. All these detailed information is not included in what the doctor evaluated, and without this information, what I can accomplish with your child will be compromised.
--- something like that."(From Mattie Hecht)
One mother pointed out that in addition to evaluating the needs of the person potentially requiring Occupational Therapy, the evaluation process provides an opportunity to determine whether the personalites of the person  and the therapist are compatible. Other considerations will be location of the OT facility, time slots available for appointments. 
One mother wisely stated, if a therapist does not evaluate, how is s/he supposed to know where to begin to intervene / treat?
What are your thoughts on the evaluation process? Does the above information make it clearer for you as to why evaluation is an important part of the therapeutic process? Please do leave your comment below.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Do Occupational Therapists Know About Special Needs?

From time to time I receive a call from someone with an unusual opinion of Occupational Therapy. The most recent was someone who was convinced that an Occupational Therapist would not know anything about the needs and difficulties of someone with special needs. Sometimes input on FaceBook is very useful. Here too, a few comments are worth repeating for the benefit of those who do not know what Occupational Therapy is to gain a little insight. 

One FB friend responded that: 
"As OT is a discipline that aims to promote health by enabling people to perform meaningful and purposeful activities I would presume it would include many people and groups including and especially those with special needs. I cannot think how anybody could think that an OT would not know something/anything about Special Needs, it comes par in par, part of the job. :)"

Another FB friend responded:
My answer for you to tell this person, if you should speak to her again or anyone else who asks you that question again:

Of course I know about people with special needs, that is my specialty. Ordinary kids do not need me to help them learn the skills that I am trained to teach. Every child is unique, and a special needs child needs a special kind of love. That's my job!"

These FB friends summed it up so beautifully, I am not sure there is much to add. If you, the reader has a question, please do post it here.

This post has been prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear, Experienced and Licensed Occupational Therapist. Should you have any questions regarding this post, other posts on this blog or Occupational Therapy in general please either email Shoshanah or visit her website.  

Monday, 15 August 2011

Apps and OT

Do you remember the days secretaries had to learn short hand with their typing? I do, I remember looking at these lines, squiggles and strange symbols and wondering how a secretary ever manage to remember what they represented.

For those of you who have a profession, do you remember learning abbreviations specific to your profession? If your field is anything to do with the medical profession you probably learned lists of abbreviations.

Now we live in an age of abbreviations. But abbreviations in everyday life. So do you understand the title? Apps and OT. Do you know what Apps are? Do you know what OT is?

Those up to date with modern technology should certainly understand what Apps are. Actually the word apps or applications comes from the computer world of various applications used on computers and has extended to cell phones and SMART phones etc.

Many, many of the population have no idea what OT is, or if they do they might give the letters different words to the ones intended here. Yes OT, in this context, stands for Occupational Therapy and while there are still far too many oblivious to what this profession offers, behind the scenes, OT's are constantly upgrading. Constantly on the look out for new and improved or revised methods to ensure optimum occupational performance for their clients thus enabling them to live fulfilling and meaningful lives.

So while some might think cell phones have nothing to do with OT. In truth some OT's are developing concern as to the negative effects on health of the microwaves transmitted by cell phones and computers and the habit forming difficulties arising, other OT's have discovered a range of benefits from the applications or Apps on computers and SMART phones. 

OT's have found that these applications can assist with behaviour modification, time management, work performance, school performance, completing school work / home work, even navigating how to get to a given destination in a timely manner, without getting lost.

So while some old school doctors might still consider OT's as being ones to teach their clients to weave baskets, OT's are keeping up with the times and finding that even modern technology can have a beneficial place in the therapeutic process.

This post has been prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear, Experienced and Licensed Occupational Therapist. Should you have any questions regarding this post, other posts on this blog or Occupational Therapy in general please either email Shoshanah or visit her website. 

REFERENCE: App Support - Mobile Sofware Applications for Individuals with Cognitive and Behavioural Challenges by Lindsey Aftel, Mary Freeman, Jessica Lynn, Whitney Mercer, OT Practice, June 20 2011

Monday, 1 August 2011

Componenets of Function and Applied Function that an OT Works with

A common question asked regarding occupational therapy (O.T.) is:
 " What areas of function or dysfunction does an OT deal with?"

The book "Orientation to Occupational Therapy - A Fundamental Approach to Principles and Practicalities" by Stella W Mountford provides a list that is worth repeating here.

As outlined by Stella Mountford,
I Occupational Therapists are concerned with the following components of function in their clients:

A Physical
1) Primary :
  •  Senstion including the special senses
  •  Joint range and muscle strength
  •  Muscle tone and reflex activity
  •  Balance and posture

2) Secondary:
  •  Co-ordination
  •  Endurance (muscular / physiological)
  •  Hand function
  •  Gait and mobility

B. Perceptual - Cognitive
  •  Levels of consciousness
  •  Orientation
  •  Attention and concentration
  •  Perception
  •  Praxia
  •  Conceptualisatin and language

C. Psychological
  • Cognition   e.g. comprehension and insight
  • Conation
  • Affect (primary)    e.g. trust and grief.

D. Social 
  • Listening
  • Talking
  • Meshing / conversation
  •  Routines
  • Tactics
  • Attitudes
II Occupational Therapists are also involved with the following applied function in their clients

A Personal Life Skills
  • Self-care  e.g. dressing
  • Domestic e.g. cokkery
  • Community Survivial Skills  e.g. money management
  • Cognitive e.g. planning
B. Work (school or play) Skills
  •  General Abilities e.g. manual dexterity
  • Work Habits (physical and psychological)
  • Work Tolerance
  • Productive Speed 
  • Social Coompetence  e.g. appearance , co-operation

C. Leisure Time
  • Attitudes to use of leisure time
  • Amount of time allocated to leisure
  • Type of leisure time pursuits

D. Social Skills
  •  Interpersonal Behaviour
  • Social Behaviour
  • Role Behaviour
  • Occupational Behaviour
This post has been prepared for you by Shoshanah Shear, Experienced and Licensed Occupational Therapist. Should you have any questions regarding this post, other posts on this blog or Occupational Therapy in general please either email Shoshanah or visit her website.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Handwriting - A Functional Perspective

A recent post on the blog  Rosemarys Book Corner , has some interesting and concerning points regarding the changes taking place in the Education System on the important subject of hand writing. Rosemary Kahn, an experienced and talented teacher and a published author shares a few thoughts of how teachers, in the USA especially, are reducing or even ceasing to teach children how to write.

Before we get to the O.T. perspective on Hand Writing, I would like to ask you the reader to send in comments or thoughts on what situations you might find that you require hand writing. Is it always possible to type your message or note or whatever written form of communication you wish to express?

Aside from your name, what other words or needs might you have for writing by hand with a pen or pencil or crayon or other writing implement?

What would you do to be able to make a message known if the electricity is down and you can not accesss your computer or laptop or if your battery to your I-Phone needs re-charging and temporarily you have no access to that form of written / typed communication?

What do you think of the notion of the future generation being unable to write but only to type? Is that practical? Is it functional? Is it the kind of Education you want your children to receive or would you prefer that your children can both write and type?

What are your thoughts?

In the next few posts, we hope to share the occupational therapy perspective on writing.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Infant Massage Promotion Days

 On 6th and 7th July 2011, we were invited to have a table at a Fair in the local shopping mall regarding baby items. Our table displayed Infant Massage - a course for parents to learn the art, skill and lots more of massaging their babies.

Towards the end of Thursday 7th, we were invited by the Manager of the Mall to return on Monday, Tuesday Wednesday 11 - 13 July 2011, for a table at another fair.

This time we brought along a few small educational games, some of which can be seen in the images displayed here.

The wooden cube of adjoining blocks is good for fine motor co-ordination, concentration, perseverance and more. These were a great hit and sold out.

The small hand held puzzles contain various shapes with which children can make up various designs. Wonderful for improving perceptual skills.

Various sized balls were also available, 2 of the sizes had textures. Very good for in-hand manipulation, improving sensory input in preparation for effective pencil grip and writing.

Watch our blog and this webspace for further details on the educational toys, their benefits and how to purchase through us.

The notice board encourages mothers to come and join us in learning infant / baby massage. As stated on the board:
One mother shared that "My baby ONLY goes to sleep with baby massage"
Another mother shared "My baby's colic resolved in just a few days with infant massage"

The doll is "Miriam" and she is of great help at each course on Infant Massage. Miriam is happy to have the massage strokes demonstrated on her. We do not demonstrate on a live baby out of respect to the personal needs of the baby.

Come and learn about the benefits of Infant Massage. Book a session or attend a course.

Bottle of oil with a blend of natural Almond Oil, Olive Oil and Vitamin E are available for sale. Contact Shoshanah for more details or watch this website for information on ordering and purchasing the Masage Oil for baby massage.

Books in English and Hebrew on Infant Massage for Parents are also available for sale. Contact Shoshanah for further details. 

The Educational Toys are provided by Shoshanah Shear, qualified and registered Occupational Therapist with 20 years experience.

The Infant Massage courses are taught by Shoshanah Shear, Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Coma Stimulation

I have noticed a number of people coming to this blog searching for articles related to Coma Stimulation, types of healing when a person in a coma (R'l).

Coma stimulation can not be taught via the internet, nor can a simple article suffice to enable family members to know what to do to assist a person in a coma. All a blog post or article can do is to bring to the awareness of family members and the medical team that there is such a therapeutic intervention called Coma Stimulation and any patient in a coma MUST be referred for this. Coma Stimulation is part of the role and expertise of a qualified, registered and licensed Neuro Occupational Therapist.

If the O.T. working in the ward where your relative or patient is not skilled in Coma Stimulation I would recommend that the medical team suggest that the OT seek training or guidance from his / her supervisor.

Please see the previous post for some ideas of what goes into Coma Stimulation. 
If you find yourself working in a hospital and have on your case load any clients who are in a coma, please do refer to Occupational Therapy. Including Coma Stimuation as part of the intervention for a comatosed person enables a person to come out of a coma more easily, in a shorter time, with better outcome to their rehabilitation. 

This post is written by Shoshanah Shear, an Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator and Infant Massage Instructor with 20 years working experience. Shoshanah had experience working with Coma Stimulation when working in Neursurgery at Groote Schuur Hospital under world renowned, now retired Prof J.C. De Villiers. Prof De Villiers taught his team that rehabilitation of a patient begins on day 1 of admission to hospital. Please, dont delay referral to a competent, qualified Occupational Therapist. The outcome of your patient / relative's rehabilitation depends to a large extent on appropriate and timely referral to the allied health professionals.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Occupational Therapy - Definition

If you have looked at previous posts on this blog, you will find a few definitions of the profession of Occupational Therapy. You might well ask why so many definitions? That is an excellent question. Partly the differences are due to progress and development in the profession. Why the same definition is not used for all Occupational Therapy National Bodies is a question I ask too.

In any event, the following definition is the one provided by the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa otherwise known as OTASA.
Definition of Occupational Therapy:

Occupational Therapists use scientifically chosen meaningful activities to assist diverse clients with a range of problems to maximise their functioning. This empowers them to be as independent as possible and to experience dignity and quality of life at work, at home and at play (OTASA)
It is hoped that having this definition will help you whether you are a potential client and need to know whether you require Occupational Therapy (OT), whether you are a health professional and need to know whether certain clients require referral to Occupational Therapy, or just for your general information.
Please let us know what you think about OT. Have you had any experience with OT. Do you have questions. We love to hear feedback. If you are living in Israel and are in need of an OT consultation or OT intervention, please email Shoshanah to book an appointment. If you have a question regarding OT and do not know where to direct your question, email Shoshanah too and she will be happy to assist in directing you. 
Alternatively you are welcome to post a comment at the end of this post.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Children Live What They Learn - Poem by Dorothy Law Nolte

When I was studying Occupational Therapy at University in the late 1980's, amongst one of our courses we were given a poem that was left as being Anonymous. The Poem was in fact authored by Dorothy Law Nolte in about 1954 or earlier. Mrs Nolte was a writer and family counselor who obtained a Phd. She died in 2005 at the age of 81. Mrs Nolte amongst other tasks wrote a weekly column on family matters for The Torrance Herald, a local newspaper. Story has it that on one particular occasion, she found herself struggling to meet a deadline and needing material. As many creative writers might do, she composed a poem on child-rearing which is the one below that became so well known in so many therapists practices and family homes.

The poem below was circulated mostly as being anonymous for about 2 decades until the author became aware of its popularity and had it copyrighted in the 1970's. A google search showed that it appears to now be in the public domain. Apparently there are a few versions to the poem, this is the version that I was given as a student.

As a tribute to an inspiring Author and Family Counsellor, we share with you the poem

 Children Learn What They Live by Doroth Law Nolte Phd.

If children live with criticism  -  they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility - they learn to fight.
If children live with fear - they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity - they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule - they learn to be shy.
If children live with jealousy - they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame - they learn to feel guilty
If children live with tolerance - they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement - they learn to be confident.
If children live with praise - they learn to appreciate.
If children live with acceptance - they learn to love
If children live with fairness - they learn justice.
If children live with security - they learn to have faith.
If children live with sharing - they learn generosity
If children learn with kindness and consideration - they learn respect.
If children live with approval - they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendliness - they learn to find love in the world.

With what is your child living?


If you find yourself needing assistance to develop the kind of environment described in the second half of the poem, you are welcome to contact Shoshanah for a consultation, or for guidance to find an appropriate therapist in your area, so as to provide your child and all children with the type of life that helps them to learn the very best that life and this world have to offer.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Inspirational Poem to Assist wtih Goal Setting

Setting appropriate goals for each session, for the therapeutic process and for a long term goal are integral to Occupational Therapy. In today's time, there is often that a person will come with a goal to earn millions of dollars or own x amount of property. Goals are more and more based on material possessions, degrees and acquistion.

Some years ago, I worked in a school in USA upon entering a certain classroom was very touched by a poem framed and on the wall.

The poem by an anonymous poet stated:
"100 years from now, it will not matter the size of your bank account, 
how many cars you owned or the size of your house, 
but the world will be a better place because you were important in the life of a child."

If you are a parent, or work with children or have siblings who have children, an important goal is to improve your skills in interacting with children. These can include listening skills,learning how to set appropriate boundaries, ability to play with the child, being a good role model, providing opportunities for a child to learn from positive teaching material whether they be books, CD's movies, outings, family get-togethers. What kind of impact and interaction will you have with the child? Will it be one where the child is left filled with love, appreciation and having learned positively or will the child be left afraid, acting out, frightened from the world around them.

The exact goal for one who interacts with children will differ depending on their age, stage of development and whether the child is healthy or has any special needs. If you are eager to be a positive role model to the children around you, consider the poem above and give some thought to what kind of goal you can set that will enable you to be important in the life of YOUR child.

Monday, 16 May 2011

What's in a Label? Is there MORE to the Picture?

There is some controversy as to whether a label is appropriate and to what extent it assists in the path and progress of a person through his life's journey. Let us take the diagnosis Autism as an example.

When you here this diagnosis, what do you think of? Do you have a set of symptoms or problems or difficulties in mind? Do you regard a person with autism as having any abilities or do you only think of difficulties and perhaps any retardation?

Did you know that there are different severities of Autism and hence different levels of function that a person can achieve.

Are you aware that someone with Autism, can in fact be very intelligent or have a hidden talent or gift. Are you aware that Occupational Therapy can assist the person with Autism to make sense of his world, to learn to gain sensory integration and appropriate motor skills and to use these hidden talents and skills for the good.

In the following youtube clip, you will see a certain talent that a man with Autism has. Some may consider an Autistic persons desire to draw and to attend to detail as obsessive. Take a look at how it can in truth be an asset and a source of pride for both the person and his family. 

The label Youtube gives for this is Living Camera. When you have completed watching the video, think of whether you agree with the "Living Camera", "Autism", "Special Needs"  or would you have a different label in mind or perhaps no label at all?

Next time you meet a person or hear of a given label, try to think past the label. Remember diagnoses are mostly given for the medical or rehabilitation team to have a guideline as to the appropriate group of techniques, goals and intervention required. However, if you are willing to search, you will ususally find some very special talent, gift or quality that is often hidden, just waiting to be discovered. A hidden treasure that helps to create a totally different picture of who the person as a whole really is.

Monday, 2 May 2011

To Ahieve Your Dreams and Goals

To Achieve Your Dreams and Goals 
Remember your ABC

A - Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits

B - Believe in G-d and in yourself

C - Consider things from every angle

D - Dont give up and dont give in

E - Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come

F- Family and friends are hidden treasures. Seek them and enjoy their riches

G - Give more than you planned to give

H - Hang onto your dreams

I - Ignore those who try to discourage you

J - Just do it

K - Keep on trying - no matter how hard it seems, it will get easier

L - Love yourself, but G-d first

M - Make it happen

N - Never lie, cheat or steal - always strike a fair deal

O - Open your eyes and see things as they really area

P - Pray

Q - Quitters never win and winners never quit

R - Read, study and learn about everything important in your life

S - Stop procrastinating

T - Take note G-d is in control of your destiny - Trust and obey

U - Understand yourself in order to better understand others

V - Visualize it

W - Want it more than anything

X - Xcellerate your efforts

Y - You are unique - nothing can replace you

Z - Zero in on your target - and go for it

I obtained this list some years ago, when gathering materials for personal development workshops. I dont know who the author is but have found it an invaluable list to keep in a file, pinned up on a notice board, up in a cupboard or anywhere you might look at it regularly. Keep it close at hand and keep working towards your Dreams and Goals.

If you require assistance in identifying or clarrifying your dreams, setting goals and appropriate action plans, you are welcome to email Shoshanah to schedule an online consultation.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Therapeutic Riding

Some years ago, I took an introductory course to Riding for the Disabled and began working with a blind child together with the South African Riding for the Disabled. It was very beautiful to watch certain autistic signs this child had developed due to lack of stimulation dissipate as he opened up to a relationship with the horse.

In the video clip below, a father shares of his experience with his autistic child when he introduced his child to horse riding. 

Therapeutic Riding can be used for many varied diagnoses. Autism is one of them, we hope another time to share some others. If you have had some experience with Therapeutic Riding or Hippotherapy or with Pet Therapy, do let us know. What did you enjoy. What did you learn. How did working with the animals help you or your loved one to function more effectively?

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