Sunday, 30 January 2011

Coma Stimulation - When, How, By Who?

What do you do when a friend or loved one is in a coma? Just stay away? Pray and keep your distance? Visit and sit quietly, not really interacting with the patient in the bed? Visit with a whole large group and make a big noise?

Actually there is something you can do and it is called Coma Stimulation. Ideally Coma Stimulation should begin as soon as possible or as soon as the person is medically stable. Many doctors dont know of Coma Stimulation so please request a referal to an Occupational Therapist, preferably a Neuro-Occupational Therapist, meaning an OT who is working and experienced in physical rehabilitation for those following any kind of neurological disorder, illness or injury.

The Occupational Therapist (OT) will evaluate the patient and begin a Coma Stimulation Program. S/he will also teach family and friends what they can do when they visit and what the clear guidelines are.
Preferably Coma Sitmulation should take place daily for 1 - 8 hours a day, depending on the condition of the patient. 

Types of stimulation will include auditory, tactile, visual, olfactory, taste and proprioception / movement.

There are clear guidelines as to how long to carry out each different stimulization for and how many people should be involved at one time. This means also that number of visitors MUST be reduced to one or two at a given time and no talking simultaneously as this is too confusing for a comatosed person. 

How to talk to someone in a coma is also of importance and this MUST be carried out by EVERYONE interacting with the comatosed person. That means also the nurses, doctors, family, physiotherapist, and of course the OT.

If your friend or relative has not received any OT or coma stimulation, don't wait and don't settle for coma stimulation being once a week or less. Your friend or relative or whoever it is you know that is in a coma needs regular Coma Stimulation and it must be daily, once a month, once in two weeks, nothing at all is not acceptable. The recovery and outcome of their condition or situation can be vastly improved by including Coma Stimulation into their therapeutic intervention being offered. So go ahead and request a referal, insist that your friend or loved one receives what can help them to make the most effective recovery possible.

This post was prepared for you by 
Shoshanah Shear
Occupational Therapist, Healing Facilitator
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
Certified Kallah Teacher
Artist and Author

If you are an occupational therapist and interested in the topic of coma and coma stimulation do be in touch to learn with Shoshanah. 
If you are in Israel and have a relative who is in a coma, a doctor's referral is required in order to carryout coma stimulation. Once you obtain permission from the doctor, you are welcome to book a consultation or series of coma stimulation sessions with Shoshanah.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Driving Rehabilitation

Did you know that Successful rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy also includes Driving Rehabilitation?

Here is one of many youtube videos to highlight this important area of OT Rehab

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Name of Occupational Therapy

Over the course of 20 years since I qualified as an Occupational Therapist, I often get people saying why don't I give a different name to what I do. Once again, this question has come up. The answer is simple, Occupational Therapy is a recognized profession that falls under the Medical Faculty of those universities offering this course as a degree course. It requires a certain amount of years studying in university, a certain amount of clinical practice, passing exams, writing a thesis and then registering with various professional bodies in order to practice.

Some of the other professions that form part of the Allie Health Professionals include, Physio or Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Nursing, Social Work and a few others. I don't hear requests to change the names of these professions so why insist on changing the name of Occupational Therapy?

You are welcome to contact the World Federation for Occupational Therapy or any of the associations: American Association of Occupational Therapy, British Association of Occupational Therapy, Candadian or Australian or South African Associations of Occupational Therapy or any other country that offers Occupational Therapy as a profession. Try explaining why you dislike the name. 

The truth is if you would change those glasses that see only negativity and reasons to complain and put on the pair of glasses that enable you to see correctly, to see the good and blessing and potential, you might in fact find that the name Occupational Therapy has a lot of meaning. It has value and worth. The profession itself is a fantastic one. If you do not understand the profession, by all means go to a medical library and start reading. In a medical library you should find a whole section dedicated to Occupational Therapy. Become informed, read, learn and gain insight into the wonderful profession that Occupational Therapy is. Once you have given yourself sufficient time to really understand the profession, you might even discover that not only is the name perfect but you are so inspired you want to become an Occupational Therapist yourself.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Seven Stages of Man by William Shakespeare

It is beneficial to discuss with ones children the different stages of development. A fun springboard to such a discussion is the poem by William Shakespeare on the Seven Stages of Man. After reading the poem, you can discuss together the progress, needs, dependence and independce experienced at the different stages listed here. From there you might open the door to helping your child identify where they are in the process of life, what the next stage is to plan for and what needs to be kept in mind in planning for later stages in the life cycle.

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players,
They have their exits and entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice
In fair round belly, with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
His youthful hose well sav'd, a world too wide,
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

12 Handy Tips

Sometimes in life, it is useful to have a guideline of tips to keep in mind when working on altering, improving or changing a behaviour. Here are 12 Handy Tips. Hope you find them beneficial. If you have questions or would like help along your journey, please do email Shoshanah

1. Do not tackle everything at once- choose your priiorities!

2. stay as calm as possible and use very simple, cleaer and precise language.

3. Aim to be consistent each time you are dealing with a particular behaviour - establish simple, useful routines.

4. Communicate continuously and co-operate with all involved - everyone must use the same rules.

5. Whenever and wherever possible try, when dealing with an inappropriate behaviour, to distract and divert.

6. When intervention and / or confrontation becomes necessary, be certain taht you are able to see it through and are likely to succeed.

7. be careful not to reward undesirable behaviour inadvertently. For instance: scolding, getting angry may constitute a reward as the foregoing behaviour might have been an attention-seeking one, or taking a child off the swing to lead him to another and then, when he scream and kicks, eaving him on the swing, will onl demonstrate that screaming and kicking is a behaviour which will achieve the goal.

8. break down all aimed-for behaviour, all tasks, in whichever area, into minute steps (take note that even steps have steps!).

9. Behaviour takes time to change - be patient and persevere.

10. Do not always feel you have to do it alone - talk, share, ask for help.

11. Always look for the good things - stop seeing only the problems.

12. Take time off!

Best of luck in your path towards a healthy, meaningful, fulfilling life. May this list help you whether in a small way or a big one.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Questions To Ask In Seeking The Appropriate OT for You

Congratulations, you discovered Occupational Therapy. Someone suggested you need it or your child needs it or someone in your family needs or would benefit from Occupational Therapy. Occupational Therapy is an incredible profession and has many many benefits it can and does offer. How do you know which Occupational Therapist is best suited to you or your child or loved one.

First and foremost you need to know that the person you contacted is an authentic Occupational Therapist, they have a certificate to show that they obtained a degree in Occupational Therapy from a recognized University that offers such degrees. Secondly are they registered with the Ministry of Health or Ministry of Education or Medical and Dental Counsil or whatever the professional body is to which health professionals need to be registered for your country.

Once you have established that the OT you are speaking to is registered and licenced the next step is to find out if s/he provides the kind of intervention you are seeking. Every Occupational Therapist has a speciality. For one that might be an age group, for another it might be general physical rehabilitation, or psychosocial, or hand injuries or head injuries or neuro-rehab. The list continues.

In addition, if you or your child speaks, reads and writes a certain language and you are not willing to have an interpreter between the therapist and the person receiving OT, make sure your OT is fluent in the given language.

In my case, I work with Jewish women, children and babies. In addition, English is my mother tongue and I am fairly fluent in Hebrew. 

These are just a few examples and for each thereapist they have their groups of clients they are comfortable working with depending on their area of expertise, additional courses they have completed and more.
This question should be asked first as it is not considerate of the therapists time to ask him / her detailed questions about your relative or friend only to discover after a 40 min telephonic interview at no pay that the therapist does not cover the age or diagnostic or ethnic or language group for which you are requesting or needing services. So go ahead and find out upfront what the speciality is of the therapist who are turning to and if they are able to recommend someone who works with the area you require if they dont cover this area.

If on the other hand you want a professional consultation as advise of what kind of intervention might help your relative, friend or yoruself, go ahead and book an appointment and pay for the time and professional expertise of the Occupational Therapist. This demonstrates that you respect the therapist as being a professional, you value their time and you appreciate any guidance they can provide even if they do not end up being the therapist to provide the necessary therapeutic process.

Best of luck in your search for the Occupational Therapist best suited to your therapeutic needs.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Finding Solutions from your Problems.

Along the therapeutic process, many find themselves asking how to find the solutions. Where are the answers. How long will this take. What will motivate us to keep on going. What will motivate one undergonig rehabilitation or facing a challenge that demands a change of attitude.

A client recently shared an interesting video. It is thought provoking, short, simple yet profound. The video is The Pink Bat Movie by simple

Enjoy, it's short, simple and fun to watch.

Let us know what motivates you. What helps you get up in the morning. This is the current challenge facing one of my 13 year old clients. What would you say to inspire your daughter to get up, be active and enjoy the day.

Book on Aspergers Syndrome - Available through Shopping for Goodness Store

When a child, especially your own, is diagnosed with a condition, the first and most important step parents can take is to become informed as to the nature of the condition. Find out everything there is to know, what goes into the diagnosis. What medications are necessary and which are used by doctors where there are other better alternatives. What options do you as parents have in terms of treatments, diets and more. Are there any alternatives available to allopathic medication?

Where do you obtain reliable information? One good place is to read books. Go into a library and find all the books that have recommendations from reliable sources. Is FDA mentioned? Is the author a professional and what is their training.

Find out if there are any support groups available and if so do they have any reading material or book lists of recommended reading?

One condition that seems to be on the increase is Aspergers Syndrome. Here is a book that can provide useful information including benefits of diets, effects on blood sugar, allergies and more on this condition. I have not read the book personally but like the fact that it offers natural and complementary steps to assist a child with Aspergers Syndrome. The book listed here is Asperger Syndrome: Natural Steps Toward a Better Life for You or Your Child (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) By Suzanne C. Lawton

If you have read the book, please do write a comment and let other readers know how you found the book. Was it beneficial, what other information are you looking for or what questions are still left unanwered.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Overcoming Adversity - a Video by Napoleon HIll

When things get difficult, whether it is an illness, trauma, accident, or other challenge, it is easy to give up and give in to the difficulties, pain and challenges. Here Napoleon Hill talks of the power of using the power of positive thinking.

How Much Effort Is Required to Effect a Change?

A client recently asked how to motivate her special needs child to keep on going and not give up. How much effort does it take?

We had already discussed various options so now lets look at a few inspirational speakers. The first is Tony Robbins, one of the popular coaches on the topic of motivation of todays time. In the video below, we are challenged to consider how big a change is really necessary and what kind of effort or work is required.

As you watch this video, remember thoughts affect our emotions which in turn effect our actions and reactions. How do you want to behave in this world? 

We hope this video will give you some inspiration.

Please do write in and let us know what you would like to give you motivation. Or what ideas would you give to a special needs child to motivate her to get up with enthusiasm each day.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The vOICe - a New Development for the Blind

A friend recently forwarded this exciting new development to me. Progress in options available to the blind population. Did you ever consider it possible to use a different sense to see? How about seeing with sound?
Hi All,

For your information. Appended is the description of a non-invasive vision
device from Israel. The functional specifications do not sound bad at all,
being non-invasive while producing high resolution images of hundreds of
thousands of pixels. Some skepticism seems appropriate until the evidence
builds up. I am not aware of the human cornea containing a high density of
neurons suitable for use in vision substitution.

Best wishes

Seeing with Sound - The vOICe 
Sensory Vision Substitution Apparatus for Blind People.

Prof. Ze’ev Zalevsky.

Faculty of Engineering.

Description of Technology:

The technology involves using external spectacles as an apparatus of vision substitution for blind people. The vision substitution is obtained by electrically or mechanical stimulating the corneal nerves rather than using
light. Time multiplexing super resolution techniques are used to improve the spatial resolution of the constructed image.

The device will allow blind people to see without performing any invasive or irreversible medical procedure.

Project Status:

Laboratory demonstration unit has been built.

Commercial Significance:

The proposed technique is non-invasive (an external wearable device), reversible and produces high resolution images of hundreds of thousands of pixels. It also uses eye in order to see (and not other organs) and thus one does not need to avoid doing other things while “seeing”. The technology also
has the potential of being inexpensive compared to competing technologies.


Patent pending.

For further information please contact Naftali Dratman
e-mail: Tel: 972-3-531 8441

Source URL (PDF):
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