OT Corner: Developing Clinical Skills in Assistive Technology
[Source: Your Therapy Source]
By Michelle L. Lange OTR, ABDA, ATP www.atilange.com. Originally published in Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners
This regular Assistive Technology series has now included 26 articles, spanning topics
such as seating, mobility, speech generating devices, computers and electronic aids to
daily living. I often hear from readers who have questions about a recently covered
topic. However, I have been hearing from many people who are interested in learning
more about assistive technology to develop their clinical skills and ultimately provide
these services to clients.
Occupational Therapy educational cucurriculum are covering more assistive technology
than ever before. That’s great if you’ve gone to school recently or if any of that great information really sunk in prior to seeing actual clients. When I went to OT school, over 20 years ago now, we didn’t learn anything about assistive technology, not that there was much to learn at that point. Assistive Technology was an emerging field and everyone was learning by the seat of their pants. That’s how I started in this area. My first job as an OT was with California Children’s Services in the Los Angeles area. I saw many children with significant physical limitations. I could evaluate them and tell you age levels for gross and fine motor skills. I could provide therapy. For these kids, however, evaluation and traditional mat therapy was not increasing their function. They still couldn’t sit up by themselves, move around the environment, write or speak. Which meant that no one really
knew their potential because no one really knew what was going on inside that little person.
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