Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association Spring/Summer 2007 newsletter A letter from a parent… Sharing this thank you we got during OT month. This is a single Mom who recently organized an Autism Awareness Walk and raised over $1500. She gets free venison meat from a local farmer since she is doing the GFCF diet. She is an incredible advocate for her son and it is amazing the progress he has made because she does what she sees in therapy, reads about a book a week, and does what it says! “What can I say? When I first learned of my son's autism, I felt like the handicapped one. I didn't know a thing about it, and no one that we were funneled through seemed to know much either. With every passing day, I was more and more frustrated because the clock was ticking away at, what I understood to be, a critical point in my son's development. For almost a year, "time" seemed to be our enemy. Beginning occupational therapy opened up a whole new world for my son and I. We were receiving "services" from a couple of different agencies, but until we got in OT with Barbara at Centers of Development, we had no written resources or "hands on" examples from which to learn how to structure our daily lives to make the most of each painfully passing day. I had gathered some information on my own, but really didn't know how to implement the strategies described. Barbara "taught" me new ways to engage my son with each session. At first, her animated shenanigans seemed overdone, until I realized that she knew exactly how to reach him. She literally opened him up and got him on the path to learning and communicating, while at the same time, showing me how to interact with my child to get and keep his interest, to calm
and soothe him, and to strengthen him. It seems that occupational therapy reaches into every aspect of my son's life, including physical, social, and emotional domains and proved to be a phenomenal introduction to speech for him. The Centers of Development has a wealth of take home resources on site which makes each therapy day somewhat of a library day as well. This is the first encounter I have had with any "agency" that made me feel as though they are prepared to deal with our issues and willing to help us learn literally everything we need to know about intervention, including home interventions like nutrition and supplements. Beyond that, they are willing to work hard to look for any information they don't have readily available. Knowledge is power and I finally feel empowered! I have seen my son develop in ways that I had only dreamed of, using language and expressing himself, even understanding "concepts". With all the new skills my son has achieved since beginning therapy, our "time" is now our friend. I owe a great debt to Barbara and everyone at Centers of Development. It's very much like a circle of friends surrounding my child and I helping us both to become all we can be.”
News from the President’s Corner Sandy Fletchall OTR/L, CHT, MPA, FAOTA As your President of the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association, I attended two full days of meetings at the AOTA preconference. The days were filled with resources for the presidents and associations in regards to conference planning, developing membership, learning ‘business’ of associations and developing more leadership skills. I networked with several of the other presidents and learned that we in Tennessee are better in some areas, same in others and have an opportunity for improvement in others. I came back stimulated with ideas and thoughts, however, I am but one person; the Executive Committee is but four and the Executive Board is but fifteen. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity for members to step up to become involved and assist in the growth of the profession. On another note: I have traveled across this state to provide the continuing competency credits for ethics and jurisprudence. I found WONDERFUL practitioners in each area, working and striving to promote the value of Occupational Therapy. Through the courses, as the practitioners become more aware and educated regarding the statue, I show empowerment; empowerment to perform their Occupational Therapy services in professional, ethical and law biding ways, empowerment to ensure that the clients understand their rights to Occupational Therapy services, and empowerment for each of the Occupational Therapy practitioners to reach to higher levels of professionalism. I want to thank each coordinator: Karen Nolan, Knoxville; Nina Woods, Jackson; Amy Bubba, Chattanooga and Jackie Bryson, Memphis. Your assistance was so important to ensuring the success of the courses. As President of Tennessee Occupational Association I am pleased to announce another legislative accomplishment of your association. This year, TOTA with Tennessee Physical Therapy Association, developed a bill to create separate Boards of Examiners for Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy. The bill would eliminate the current Board of Occupational and Physical Examiners, with Committee of Occupational Therapy and Committee of Physical Therapy and create separate Boards for each discipline. This bill passed both houses, and was signed by the Governor in May, with the establishment of Separate Boards by July 1, 2007. The current members of the Committee of Occupational Therapy will move to the new Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners; those practitioners are, Jeff Snodgrass, Sloan Lake and Suzy Pech. The members of the Executive Board are finalizing plans for the Annual Conference to be held October 12 & 13, 2007 at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Volunteers are always needed and welcomed, so contact your local district chair: Jackie Bryson, West District; Margaret Beasley, Middle District; Sue Sain, East Distrcit or Amy Bubba, Southeast District-orCraig Edwards, Vice President or me. All email addresses can be found on the website under Executive Board.
DO YOU KNOW… …that one continuing competency credit is allowed for a two hour on-line learning course? …that nominations are open for the positions of President and Secretary? Please contact Gayle Adams for further information. …that this year’s conference will be October 12 & 13, 2007 at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee. Members receive a discount rate. …that your membership is valid for 12 months from the time of becoming a member. …how much your talents are needed in TOTA? Contact your district chair or a member of the Executive Board.
Summary of the 2007 Representative Assembly Results This summary covers only a few of the 118 actions taken by the RA during the 2007 meeting.
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Motions adopted: • Formation of an ad hoc committee to analyze current educational preparation for practice in Early Intervention, AOTA staff review of state regulation regarding EI, and an EI evidence-based literature review, by end of FY09 • Expansion of full text electronic availability of AJOT Language in the Model Practice Act regarding the ability of OTs and OTAs to retain the use of their professional credentials even when not practicing occupational therapy Reinsertion of language into the 2007 Bylaws to maintain the OTA Director position on the Board Development of an "exemplar" series in OT Practice, highlighting occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants engaging in "participation"-focused evaluation and intervention across the continuum of rehabilitation and disability Official Documents: Commission on Education (COE) papers titled Philosophy of Occupational Education and A Descriptive Review of Occupational Therapy Education; Societal statements on Family Caregiving and Stress and Stress Disorders; COP papers entitled Specialized Knowledge and Skills in Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing for Occupational Therapy Practice, Obesity and Occupational Therapy Position Paper Many motions on fieldwork related to inclusion of a description of model fieldwork in the OT and OTA model curricula, development of a proposal for voluntary credentialing program for fieldwork educators, and initiation of a feasibility study for the development of a specialty certification program for fieldwork educators Formation of groups to establish core competencies for mental health occupational therapy practice and review work-related entry-level education
Evaluation of how each body of the Assembly relates to and can support the newly adopted six centennial focus areas of (1) Children and Youth (2) Productive Aging (3) Mental Health (4) Work and Industry (5) Health and Wellness and (6) Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation. Development of a societal statement on play AOTA support for universal design, distinguishable currency for visually impaired, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Motions defeated: • Motions related to graduate occupational therapist education (limiting accreditation for OT programs to master’s programs, imposing a moratorium on accreditation of entrylevel doctoral programs, and reviewing Resolution J). However, a substitute motion was adopted: charging the President to form an ad hoc committee including representatives from practice, education, ethics and accreditation to address the impact of two points of entry (master’s and doctoral) into the profession for therapists. Please note that this does not affect occupational therapy assistant education. • Mentoring; however, a motion regarding effective mentoring relationships and selfadvocacy was adopted. If you want additional information, please check the AOTA website, Governance section, or contact Yvette Hachtel (TN Representative) or Jane Sorensen (TN Alternate Representative).
OTher items of interest Attached you will find the letter from Acordia Insurance Company that shows what can happen when you put a little time and effort into proving our profession and need for pediatric or habilitative therapies, not just rehabilitative! We had a client whose name is XXXX out in the letter, whose parents had to pay cash for pediatric therapy for the last 2 years because their insurance, Acordia, did not cover ANY OT for developmental or habilitative disorders. The family and I had phone conferences, sent letters, and I contacted AOTF for any research articles they had, and we continued to hound them with information and all the proof we could find for OT. The result is that NOW ACORDIA IS CHANGING THEIR ENTIRE INSURANCE PLAN TO COVER OT FOR DEVELOPMENTAL OR HABILITATIVE SERVICES! This family is the key to this happening, as it was their hard work and determination, and belief in OT for their son, that made this happen! May was a month of national ‘unveiling’ of the CarFit program by many AAA clubs across the United States. Several RSCC OTA students participated in a local CarFit event in Knoxville. They helped a non-stop stream of local drivers drive more comfortably and drive longer! The East Tennessee Technology Access Center held an assistive technology workshop for seniors. RSCC OTA Students set up and manned “make-it-and-take-it” sessions. The event was a great success!
MIDDLE DISTRICT NEWS Middle District held an Occupational Therapy Awareness event on April 14th in Bellevue Center Mall Nashville, offering free interactive opportunities for the community to learn more Occupational Therapy. Booths hosted by practicing OTR’s and OTA’s, as well as OT students from Tennessee State University, Belmont University and Nashville State Community College provided opportunities to learn about hand strength and dexterity, aging in place, elder driver safety, low vision deficits and answers, arthritis solutions, home safety, sensory issues for children including information and answers for parents of picky eaters, as well as children who have perceptual, tactile and vestibular issues. We presented information on foundational hand skills for preschoolers and developmental milestones from birth to five years old. There was a photo booth, face painting, flower planting and games with prizes. We had an all day give away of educational toys and prizes many of which were donated by mall merchants. The event was a success with many from the surrounding community in attendance. Middle District also hosted an Ethics and Jurisprudence course March 12 with live presentations by Jeanne Sowers and TOTA lobbyist John Williams. Several OT practitioners joined TOTA as a result of this meeting.
Maureen Brown at OT month event
Belmont students demonstrate tactile awareness with Molly Mitchell and her Dad Steve.
OT TEAMS UP WITH THE SMOKIES The Roane State Community College OTA Class of 2008 has teamed up with the Tennessee Smokies Baseball team to kick off OT Awareness for the month of April. We will have displays set up during the game to increase awareness and demonstrate what OT offers to the community. Students, families, friends and therapist from all over the area will be attending. We hope to have radio coverage and news broadcasting. We are seeking a banner that reads: Occupational Therapy, OT Awareness or something to that effect that could be borrowed for display purposes during the Smokies game. Anyone with information of a banner that might be available please contact one of the persons listed below.
We currently have 50 t-shirts donated for this function. We are seeking sponsors who would like to donate $50-100 to have their business logo or company name printed on the back of the t-shirts. All proceeds raised by t-shirt sales will go to a charitable organization. The front of the shirts will read: Occupational Therapy. The back will list sponsorship. This is a great advertising opportunity for businesses to capitalize on and most importantly, a wonderful contribution to helping our class achieve its charitable goals. The OTA club currently supports ten charitable organizations, such as Boys and Girls club, the House of Courage, Alzheimers, & KARM, just to name a few. The date for the event will be formally announced in August. This event is open to the public; however our class will be selling tickets to anyone who would like to attend the game at a discounted price. Tickets are $6.00 for bleacher seats or $8.00 for field level. Ticket sales will also contribute proceeds toward our philanthropy project. Tickets will be distributed in February for the event. We are currently doing a preliminary sign-up sheet for those who are interested in attending and would like to encourage RSVP to tally interest for purchase of tickets and t-shirt sales. We are very excited about this class philanthropy project to help the community and promote OT! Any help that you could give our class would be greatly appreciated. If you or someone you know are interested in purchasing tickets, shirts or sponsorship please contact the persons below. This will be a great outing for your family, friends, therapy departments, church group or other business colleagues. Please RSVP so we can obtain a collective number and gauge our level of support. Tonya Langley [email protected]
Helen Reagan [email protected]
Please note: There are new procedures in place for advertisements through TOTA. Please contact either Sandy Fletchall at [email protected]
or Craig Edwards at [email protected]
or check the website for further information.
If you have questions about or would like to submit to the TOTA e-letter, please contact Melissa Sitton @ [email protected]
The next newsletter deadline is September 30th.
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