This month, the Handwriting is Fun! Blog is proud to host another guest author series. In July we will be sharing information on the topic of Technology and OT. Our series will stray from our typical course and discuss non-handwriting related topics, except for the one published the first week. I know you will enjoy what our guests will be sharing and will learn a great deal from their expertise. This week, we are proud to publish this blog concurrently with Eleanor Cawley, M.S., OTR/L as she presents us with a beginner’s tutorial for helping students achieve their highest level of self-sufficiency with or without assistive technology.
Eleanor, you’re on!
The Challenge of Moving Toward Self-Sufficiency with or without Assistive Technology
As school districts begin to think about transitioning students with disabilities out of school and onto the next phase of life, the idea of becoming as independent or self-sufficient as possible comes to mind. I prefer to use the term self-sufficient as this term implies a sense of power and strength in addition to not requiring assistance from others. At the age of 14 years, school districts are required to begin developing a transition plan. Educators, therapists and parents investigate vocational as well as, social and self-care tasks. In many high schools, Life Skills Programs concentrating on just this effort are charged with the task of fostering self-sufficiency.
Collectively, we explore both basic [BADLs] and instrumental activities of daily living [IADLs]. BADLs include basic self-care tasks, such as feeding, toileting [including maintaining continence], dressing [donning/doffing and selecting clothes], grooming/bathing, walking and transfers (such as from bed to wheelchair). These are the skills that we have begun to develop since birth. IADLs are more complex skills that we are taught as our thinking skills become more developed and include things like money management, driving/using public transportation, shopping, meal prep, communication using a telephone, computer or tablet, managing medications, housework and basic home maintenance. The IADL and vocational skills are the focus of the Life Skills Programs.
Please click here to read the rest of her article on Eleanor’s blog.
Eleanor Cawley is an occupational therapist with many years of experience in the pediatric sector and specifically in transitioning students from high school to post high school. Much of her practice focuses on using technology when lower tech strategies fail to meet the needs of her students. She is the author of Using Rubrics to Monitor Outcomes in Occupational Therapy and The Student Interview.
Technology and OT Series