Welcome to the American Occupational Therapy Association's Checking the Pulse blog. Written by Stephanie Yamkovenko, AOTA's digital editor.
Here you will find news about occupational therapy, current health news, and more. I regularly blog about apps that clinicians can use in practice, autism issues, managing chronic conditions, wounded warriors, and more.
AOTA members receive the biweekly OT Practice Pulse e-newsletter where we share resources and news from AOTA and other sources that directly affect occupational therapy practice—curated just for members! Here on the Checking the Pulse blog, I will share even more relevant and interesting news, videos, blogs, and more.
I read hundreds of articles about health, wellness, and policy every week to find the most engaging and enlightening content for you. Blog readers can stay in the know, go beyond the news, and find out how the latest health news affect occupational therapy.
Found a story worth sharing? Send it to us today! Or send me a tweet @AOTAInc.
[Editor’s note: I’m excited to have Sonja present you with a guest post about Monday’s solar eclipse!]
By Sonja Patterson, AOTA’s web and social media administrator
By now you’ve probably heard that on Monday, August 21, a total solar eclipse will be viewable to 500 million people.
Are you planning to take your clients outside to see the total solar eclipse? Find the exact start time for the eclipse in your city and state with this interactive map from NASA.
First, it’s important to protect your eyes during the event. NASA recommends specific eye protection while looking at the eclipse. Some libraries across the country are handing out free glasses (see if your library is participating here). And the American Astronomical Society has a list of reputable dealers of glasses.
We know that nature can have powerful healing effects and exploring nature is a meaningful occupation for many. We’d love to hear how you plan to help your clients participate in this event.
Go over this eye safety social story (pdf) with your clients to make sure everyone is safe while viewing the solar eclipse.
Consider these tips for photographing the solar eclipse with your smartphone. Come up with ideas for shooting the eclipse creatively by including people, landscapes, or other objects in the scene.
If you have access to a telescope, you could work with your clients to create a sun funnel.
NASA’s website provides a lot of other activities including math challenges to understand how to predict total solar eclipses and some fun eclipse-related art projects.
A solar eclipse has not been viewable in the U.S. mainland since 1979 and the first to span the entire continent since 1918—99 years ago. (And just one year after the founding of occupational therapy!) There won’t be another total solar eclipse until 2024, so this could be a once in a lifetime event for older adults. For younger clients, it is their first glimpse of an awe-inspiring event.
Ancient writers reflected on that powerful moment when light turns to dark and then back again in the span of just hours. The Greek Poet Archilochus in 647 B.C.E. said, “There is nothing beyond hope, nothing that can be sworn impossible, nothing wonderful, since Zeus, father of the Olympians, made night from mid-day, hiding the light of the shining Sun...” Overall, the idea is to keep your head up and looking for brightest spot in sky.
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