Using the media to educate others

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The scoop on occupational therapy in the media

Using the media to educate others

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A recent blog post in Parents magazine online, “Therapy Tricks and Tips for Kids with Special Needs” (, March 5, 2012) is an excellent example of promoting occupational therapy while enhancing the client-OT relationship.


The piece was written by AOTA member Loren Shlaes, a pediatric occupational therapist who lives and practices in Manhattan and specializes in sensory integration and school-based issues. It appeared on Ellen Seidman’s blog “To the Max” which focuses on raising children with special needs.


In this post, Shlaes offers advice to parents and caregivers to maximize their child’s OT session with tips of what to do before, during, after and in between sessions. Not only does the blog explain tips to people with loved ones receiving OT, it explains what the profession does to the masses as well.


“I was invited to supply the article after Heidi Kay, who is the owner of Pediastaff, wrote about her favorite therapist bloggers for Ellen Seidman's personal blog, ‘Love That Max,’ in January,” Shlaes said, adding that she will also write an essay for the website entitled "What OT's want classroom teachers to know" in the near future.


In addition to the piece published by Parents, Shlaes maintains her own blog, “pediatricOT” with “notes from the trenches from a practicing occupational therapist.” Here she shares the ups and downs, tips and tricks for other OTs. She also did a series of podcasts that are available for download on Buzzsprout and is a regular contributor to PediaStaff.


Why dedicate the time to this?

“Updating my blog as often as I do is a huge commitment of time and energy. I often come home in the evenings after work and write and edit, and I spend a good portion of my weekends composing my pieces. I enjoy the process tremendously. I find it so satisfying when I have been able to express a complex idea in a simple, clear way,” said Shlaes, who says that her family’s love of books, writing and journalism are what originally motivated her to start writing about her work. “Blogging has brought wonderful rewards. I get emails from parents all over the world thanking me for helping them understand how to help their special needs children.  I have cyber acquaintances now in Australia, Italy, Canada, the Philippines, and all over the U.S.”


Are you using the media to promote OT? I want to hear from you! Email me at

  • My name is Mike, and I created a moderate a rehabilitation themed forum on Reddit is popular with young folk who strive to have meaningful conversations based on facts and research (although it can get juvenile sometimes). Why didn't I create just an OT forum? because that would be a place for OTs to talk to themselves. My goal was to create a place for OT,PT,SLP,inventors, parents, and so on could meet in one place to trade ideas. We are small for now, but we are slowly growing. I've already had conversations with 3 people who are creating products to be used in therapy and wanted feedback. Also, we have members from the USA, Australia, Canada, and Austraia.

    Check us out at