19 June, 2014

World OT Congress #2

Yesterday afternoon I went to an 1hr 20min session about Children, particularly focused on physical and ADL (OT jargon for activities of daily living, or stuff people have to do for themselves regularly, like eating, dressing, learning, riding, etc.). In this session I was surprised to hear the name of someone I haven't seen since I left uni a couple of decades ago. Apparently she's now working in the UK. One interesting presentation was about teaching children with cognitive delay (mostly Downs Syndrome) how to ride a bike.

Then we had a lecture from the just-former president of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). It rambled a little and was at times difficult to follow her transitions. She also had some rotten slides (actually a pretty common problem here, despite the prestigious nature of the event, most people are putting too much information on their slide presentations). But part of it was that I was a little bit late and so missed her introduction. She also mentioned at the end that her laptop had been stolen on her way to the conference two weeks earlier, with her entire presentation (lesson: backups are important!).
This is the panel of three OTs who worked in the three different prefectures
affected by the tsunami-earthquake-nuclear disaster.

After that I did heard another couple of talks on kids. One was Australian and talked about an intervention in helping children with ADHD learn to make friends. It particularly empowered the parents, which is a novel approach, instead of being therapist-child centric.

Then I skipped into another session and heard something about a new OT program that's been set up in rural Victoria, particularly with the aim of encouraging more OTs to go into rural and remote settings to work. As a former rural OT myself, that was interesting indeed.

This morning started with a 90 minute symposium by Japanese OTs about response to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Interesting because I've heard reports on this almost exclusively from missionaries and churches. The response was similar in many ways, but the focus was definitely more on independent living and equipment. Understandably people lost walking aids and so those kinds of things were provided. They also provided education on living in extreme winter conditions as some were relocated from the more moderate coastal areas to mountainous areas with lots of snow. But the similarities were in doing everyday living kinds of things, like cooking, crafts, taking walks, and getting people to talk. What was particularly impressive was how fast they managed to get working. They were already local, so that helped. But like local pastors, they also found themselves in coordinating roles with many volunteers who had no clue about the local area streaming in to help.

The Police Band
I skipped the WFOT Plenary Session and went shopping instead. Caught a lovely free concert by a Police Concert Band in a nearby shopping centre. Found a branch of a favourite shop of mine (Tokyu Hands) and spent a little bit of money. Read a little.

The next session I was interested in turned out to be badly scheduled. Too many people in too small a room. I sat on the floor for over an hour. But was rewarded in the end with an introduction to an interesting free app called Stretch Break for Kids. It runs in the background and interrupts what you are doing every 20 or 30 minutes (you set that) to remind you to do some stretches the give your body a break. The stretches are animated and you are invited to copy. I think there are eye exercises to, to help you avoid eye strain. I've just installed in and am looking forward to seeing how it works.

After that was a Keynote lecture from a long-term Japanese OT. She's been around since the beginning of the profession in Japan in the early '60s. She gave an overview of the profession and challenges for the future. It was very interesting. My intuitive feeling about the profession being largely into rehabilitation and hospital-type services here is correct.

The last session I planned to go to was also crowded out, and as I was only mildly interested in the topic, I decided to skip it and go home early. But as it's not after 10, I'm not really capitalising on my early finish.

Sorry for the lengthy write-up. I'm too tired to edit it down, so it will have to stand as is.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Thanks for sharing this, Wendy, much appreciated :)