Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tutorial Six-The Internet and Online Communities

In this post I am going to provide an overview of three online communities I have found that relate to my topic of Autism. These online communities provide support for those with Autism and most importantly the families and support systems of these people.

 The first online community is an Autism Support Group that is dedicated to family members and friends dealing with Autism. It is a community where family members and friends can come together to give advice, share information and ask each other questions about Autism. The online community offers many ways of interacting and sharing knowledge with others who are dealing with the same or similar issues. It is a chance to share with others who are in the same situation as you and who can understand you.

 Within this community you are able to post comments on the discussion forum. You are then able to comment on each other’s posts to give advice or answer questions. This is the way in which everyone is able to interact with each other. The site also offers articles and videos on autism to be uploaded by members to promote awareness and help build on peoples knowledge. I liked this community page as it’s easy to navigate around and anyone is welcome to join. It is easy to join and contribute to the page. The community is seeking to join family members and friends affected by autism together so that they have support and can share similar thoughts and experiences.

 Link to this community:

The next online community I found was Altogether Autism. This website is for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, families and whanau, friends of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and anyone in the community who wants to know more. The websites main purpose is to inform you about the services available for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders, people who can give you advice and where you can find more information. It is different from the online community above as it is not in a set out where there is a forum in which you can share ideas. It however is a place for people to go to find out more information. The site offer you links in which you can explore to find out organisations and individuals who provide a range of services which may support people with ASD. The site has articles in which you are able to read. It has a section on questions people ask that you  are able to click onto and find out the answers. The site enables you to be up-to-date with news and events and you are able to subscribe to their news letter. I think this online community is a great base for those who have autism or know someone with Autism to look at. From here they are pointed in the right direction to finding out services available, new and events and information about the disorder. People are unable to contribute information themselves unlike the majority of online communities however I feel this is still a great online community that holds alot vital information.

The next online community I came across was AutismSpot-Empowering the Autism Community. This blog site is dedicated to providing parents, educators, professionals and those living with Autism with unbiased, comprehensive information. The purpose of this community is to provide information on the best practices, therapies, education opportunities, resources and home programs from people all over the world. It is a place to seek information and offer support to others by building a community that brings hope through expert advice. The site offers videos, news, blogs and forums. Once you become a member you are able to post discussions onto the forum and comment on other posts as well. This is the way in which people are able to communicate to share their knowledge, experience and personal stories. Communication through these forums is the foundation to building an online community like AutismSpot.

 Link to this Community:

 Ethical Issues to consider:
When being a part of an online community like the ones I described there are ethical issue that may arise. Informed consent and copyright are two of the ethical issues involved in online communities. As people are able to openly discuss issues on these forums it is important that they have gained informed consent from the person in which they are sharing information about. When capturing and sharing photos of those with autism it is vital that informed consent has been given first by the person and their families. The second community I discussed was Altogether Autism, as this site does not enable people to openly make posts on it, the information they provide has been copyrighted. It is important when using information that is taken straight from the website that it is properly referenced. This will stop any copyright ethical issues that may arise.

 The benefits of the online communities; AustimSpot and the Autism Support group include:
-People are able to interact with each other building a sense of community
-People are able to share personal experiences and relate to each other
-People are able to give advice and answer each other’s questions
-You are able to post questions of concerns in which people in similar situations are able to answer.

 The benefits of all three communities I have discussed include:
-They are places in which people can seek information about Autism to build their knowledge and understanding.
-They are base in which people can go to find links and resources that they can then explore
- You are able to learn from others in similar situations who understand what you are going through
-Can be accessed at all times

 Limitations for online communities include:
-People who are unable to access a computer will be unable to be a part of these communities
-People who do not have knowledge on blogging and posting comments may find it difficult in doing so
-People may comment negatively on the online blog and abuse the privileges of the online community

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tutorial Seven: Linking to blogs of interest

I have chosen to link to different blogs that relate to Occupational Therapy practise.  I have set up links on the side of my blog which are easy to locate and click into. Within this list of links there are blogs from other class mates of mine. As I use my blog more and begin to explore different blogs I will add them to the list. I have posted comments on the blogs when I have found posts of interest. I have made comments in which I am hoping to receive feedback from the blogger or others reading the blog.

Below I have provided an example of the communication between myself and an another blogger whose post I have commented on:
    Hi Jess,
    Your placement experience sounds very interesting and sounds like in the end it was very worthwhile.At your placement were there other clients with TBI?? or was it a range of different injuries? I really enjoyed your selection of videos from YouTube that explain brain injuries and demonstrate the occupational therapist role in the rehab process. As an up an coming OT its interesting to see the role of the OT in different settings. Thanks for sharing these videos.
Hey Soph,
Yes my placement was very worth while in the end. I mainly worked with a young boy that had a TBI however there were other service users that had TBI's aswell. There were also many service users with disease's such as MS. There were individuals that also had a range of injuries and disabilities. These were physical disabilities. Hopefully my feedback helps.

Tutorial Five: Video Production Part Two

Autism is topic within the Occupational Therapy practise area and is a topic of interest for me. I have worked with a child with Autism at a holiday program and I found the experience to be fascinating. I am really looking forward to working with children with Autism in future placements or future practise. I have chosen five videos about Autism that I found very interesting. I chose 5 very different videos so that those reading could expand their knowledge base about Autism and gain a better understanding. These videos help explain, demonstrate and provide personal experience of Autism.

I found this first video to be very moving and captivating. It is called "fixing" Autism and is made by this man in honour of his daughter how has Autism. It demonstrates not only the struggles she goes through but the struggles they go through as a family. I think this is a great video for informing people about the reality of Autism for the person and their families. It is a great video for Autism awareness. I think anybody who watches it would be affected by this man and what he has to say.

The next video is from the perspective of different people with Autism. It has been made in honour of Autism Awareness month and its main focus is for these people to let the world know what it’s like to have Autism. It shows a range of different people who are all different on the Autism spectrum. It is their way of reaching out and telling the world what life is like for them.
This next video is the day in the life of Ryan. Ryan was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. This video is made by his older sister how explains common signs and symptoms, the visible signs he showed and the frustrations in which a child with Autism can experience. We are able to see Ryan and the way in which he communicates and acts. She explains the challenges for living with someone with Autism and the effects it has on her younger sister who is also interviewed by her.
This video shows an Occupational Therapist working with a young boy with Autism. It shows them working with an Ipad learning to draw letters. I chose this video as it shows a type of intervention in which an Occupational Therapist like me would do with a client with Autism.
This video explains the various types of therapy that can improve a person’s social and communication skills and improve developmental growth. It names the different types of theories then explains them. This gives therapists and insight into effective therapies to use with clients with Autism.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Turotial Two: Occupational Engagement, Doing, Being ,Becoming, Belonging

Occupational engagement, doing, being, becoming
View more PowerPoint from SophieHalkett

My chosen occupation is morning coffee around the dining table. I chose this Occupation as it was a ritual that I was involved in during my fieldwork two placement. My placement was at Idea Services Kirkcaldy Street. After observing and being a part of this ritual I was able to understand how important this was to the individuals as this was an effective way of building relationships and enhancing communication opportunities.  What used to be a simple task for me of “having a coffee” has now turned into a ritual that can help build a cultural and social feeling of doing, being, becoming and belonging for a person.

In the reading ‘Reflections on doing, being becoming.’ I found that there were great definitions of doing, being, becoming and belonging in relation to meaningful occupation. I have summed them up in my own words from my understanding of the definitions provided in the article.

Doing- Taking part in purposeful activities.

Being- Time taken to reflect and appreciate the meaning and value in what we do

Becoming- Envisioning our future and what we wish to become

Belonging- The sense of being included through occupational performance and social interaction. The sense of inclusion and support.

(Wilcock, 1998)

Image 1: IHC and Idea Services Logo
Image2: Coming together of people
Image 3: The sharing of different values
Image 4: Doing, Being, Becoming and Belonging interlock
Image 5:Doing Heading
Image 6: Cup of Coffee
Image 7: The gathering of coffee cups
Image 8: Pouring coffee
Image 9: Being Heading
Image 10:Being a part of a group
Image:11:Being able to share your thoughts
Image 12: Being a friend
Image 13: Becoming Heading
Image 14: Becoming a friend
Image 15: Becoming a part of social interaction
Image 16: Becoming a part of a kinship
Image 17: Belonging Heading
Image 18: Friendships
Image 19: Social Acceptance
Image 20: Belonging to a service

For those images that are not mine I made sure that they were referenced correctly. I used photos taken by myself so that I was able to use them without there being any ethical implications as it is my own personal work. Image number 3 I drew by myself using Microsoft Office as it was my own drawing I was able to put it straight onto my presentation without breaching copywriter.

Wilcock, A.A. (1998).  Reflections on doing, being becoming.  Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 248-256.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tutorial Eight: Assistive Technology

In chapter one of the book Assistive Technology: Principles and Practise is states that “One widely used definition is that provided in the PL (public law) 100-407, the Technical Assistance to the States Act in the United States. The definition of assistive technology is: Any item, piece of equipment or product system whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.” (Cook & Hussey 2000) This definition covers a wide range of equipment used for everyday life, leisure and productivity. When an individual is faced with an injury, disability or illness to be able to take part in meaningful occupations equipment must be adapted, modified or customised for the individuals needs. This equipment could be made specifically for the individual or the individual’s own equipment could be modified slightly. There is a huge range of assistive technology available for individuals however cost and availability of this equipment is sometimes a barrier. Assistive equipment makes occupations of these individuals more functional and capable.

The apple Ipad is an extremely useful tool for Occupational Therapists in practise. It is a very affordable tool for the many functions and opportunities that it creates. On the following website for the apple store it states information about size, cost and functions of an Ipad.

The websites address is

The different models of the ipad are similar in sizing. This is an example of the sizing for the Wi-fi Model : “Height: 9.50 inches (241.2 mm), Width: 7.31 inches (185.7 mm), Depth: 0.37 inch (9.4 mm), Weight: 1.44 pounds (652 g).”(Apple Inc, 2012) The price of the Ipads range between $729 to $1228. On top of this cost is the cost of applications. Some applications are free and some have a small set up cost. . The standard functions that come with the ipad are camera, video recording, wireless and cellular internet and built in applications such as; Mail, Messages, Itunes, Newsstand, Maps, Music and Reminders. From here you are able to build your own applications suitable for the individual using the iPad. There are many apps used by OTs with different functions; whether it’s helping with communication, reading, writing and fine motor skills etc. The applications are also suitable for different disabilities and learning needs. I found this blog online where people are able to update apps they have found useful. The OT iTool Kit resource is a review of apps and resources for OT's working with children and adults.

As more apps are developed the use of an Ipad as assistive equipment grows. In class we used ipads as a way of enabling communication when creating a smoothie with other group members. The ipad increased our ability as ‘non verbal’ students to communicate to each other. I found this to be very interesting and a worthwhile task. As we had free time to explore the ipads I found out that it had many uses. I don’t have a great understanding of Ipad apps however as I research more into an ipad I find that it has many apps with different purposes. When looking up ipads and Occupational Therapy I found the following YouTube clips which show cased different ways in which Ipads can be used for Therapy. I look forward to using Ipads in the future in my own practice and am excited to learn about the different apps available for occupational therapists.


Apple Inc. (2012). Apple Store. Retrieved from

Cook, A.M.,& Hussey, S.M. (2000). Assistive Technologies:principles and practice. St Louis:Mosby

Tutorial Four: Video Production Part One

As a group we had to plan and produce a film that was one minute long. The film had to be based on one of the four concepts that we were introduced to. These being occupational justice, occupational disruption, occupational transition, or occupational deprivation. We decided as a group to base our video on occupational transition. Occupational transition is defind as “reorganisation of a person’s occupational identity, restructure of roles and habits and adjustment to changes in the kinds of environments in which one does things.” (Kielhofner, 2008 p. 136)We discussed with each other what occupational transition means to us and what experiences we have had where we have had to transition ourselves. We realised then that we had all experienced a similar occupational transition in our lives. Our transition from home to Otago Polytechnic in Dunedin.

Occupational Transition to Dunedin Video:

We wanted to be creative in showing this idea so we decided to write on two pieces of paper each. On the first piece of paper it said phrase to do with where we came from and on the second piece of paper a phrase that represents us now that we have transitioned. The video begins with occupational transitions our main theme. Then transitions through life stages, then there is a drawing of different houses to represent our different places then arrows to Dunedin representing the transition. We then in turn show our two pieces of paper representing our occupational transition to Dunedin. The different transitions include; Warm House to Damp Flat, Alternative Steiner School - Mainstream Tertiary ‘Tech, Country Bumpkin - Big City…. Hello, Mum made my lunch - I make my lunch now, Adventure Capital - Scarfie Land. This video represents our own personal occupational transitions to Dunedin.

Kielhofner, G. (2008). Model of human occupation: Theory and application (4th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Tutorial One: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

My first post covers Information Technology and Information Communications Technology. I will discuss the definition of both of these terms and define them in my own words. Technology is prevalent in today’s society and technology for most people has become commonplace. We all use technology everyday and in different ways. It has huge effects on our daily living. For me I use technology everyday and am comfortable using it. Without it my life would be much more difficult. I will discuss technology that I find easy to use and am comfortable and confident in using. Technology has become an important component for Occupational Therapists and as it grows the more people will become aware of it and the more OT’s will use it. Technology has so many advantages and positive impacts on people lives however there is also ethical implications that arise, which can create problems. Using Technology is a growing trend and for people like me it is an everyday necessity.

“Information Technology (IT) is concerned with
technology to treat information. The acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications are its main fields” (Wikipedia, 2012)

“ICT (information and communications technology - or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or application, encompassing: radio, television,cellular phones, computer and network hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and applications associated with them, such as videoconferencing and distance learning.” (Techtarget, 2012)

IT and ICT are broad terms that include a wide range of components, software and devices. They are used in everyday life for storing, processing and sharing information.

IT and the use of capturing, processing, storing and transmitting information both textual and pictorial is common in our society. It is growing all the time and becoming more common in
everyday life. As technology is updated people become more aware of its benefits and its uses become more common. The following YouTube clip shows how much Information technology has changed over time and discusses the Information eras affects on society and communication. I found this clip to be very interesting and truthful.

In high school I studied information technology, web design and computing. From this I have found myself to be very confident in using computers, computer programmes and the internet. I find that I use computers everyday for study, leisure and social interaction. I depend on it for finding information, typing up polytechnic work, doing assignments and catching up with friends and family. This use of IT helps me to engage in purposeful occupations such as social relationships, polytechnic study and leisure. As technology grows and becomes more up to date I find that my knowledge expands and I use technology for more reasons. Without the use of my computer daily life would be much more difficult for engaging in meaningful occupations.
Within my fieldwork placements in Acute Surgical and Idea Services IT didn’t play a huge role. I didn’t have much of an opportunity to discover that technologies were used in these placements to benefit the Therapists and clients. I have however heard of other places the use IT within there practise and look forward to learning more in this course about the ways in which IT can be used in Occupational Therapy.

So far in this course from class readings and a session with Dave Speden from Kimi Ora School in Wellington I have realised that technology offers endless opportunity for people and is increasing every day. Verdonck and Ryan 2008 state that “Technology offers therapists new types of handiwork and enabling devices, which are being drawn from a virtual environment.” (Verdonck & Ryan 2008 ) Dave spoke to us about different technologies that enable his students to engage in meaningful occupations. I found his talk to be very inspirational and I learnt a lot about different technologies used by the therapists at his school. One issue that he spoke about was that it is easy to get caught up in all the new and improved technology being developed. The technology out there is growing and has so many uses however it is important that you think about an individual and then adapt the technology systems to fit their specific needs.

This made me envisage how IT use will become a potential tool of practise. “Technology can be used within Occupational Therapy in two ways. The first application is to improve a person’s functional independence, and the second is a therapeutic tool to improve occupational performance and its related components.” (Petty, 2003 as cited in Verdonck & Ryan, 2008) As technology grows and new ideas are developed it will be used to help those who need assistance in participating in meaningful occupations. IT will help people to participate in their daily lives and fulfil their goals of enabling occupation. I am really looking forward to seeing what IT tools are available and how they can improve daily living when I am practicing as an OT.

Information and Images can be captured, shared and transferred via devices and systems such as internet, mobile phones and more commonly now Iphones and Ipads. When considering using these devices or systems there are many ethical implications that arise. This includes informed consent and Intellectual Property such as Copyright. These are just a few of the ethical implications involved when transferring and sharing information from these devices. I will briefly discuss these ethical implications.

Informed consent is when someone has agreed to and allowed personal content or images to be captured shared and transferred. It is always important to gain consent from someone before using their personal information and sharing it via IT devices or systems, this way they are aware of what is being used and who is able to view it.

Intellectual property (Copyright) The internet gives us a wide range of information and images that have been shared by others. The internet makes it available for others to duplicate this copyrighted content. We may be able to access this information but it is wrong to do so without the authors consent and without referencing the source. You are unable to take information that is not yours and pretend it is your own.

Ethical issues will always arise when using IT devices and systems. It is important that everyone is aware of the ethical issues before capturing, sharing and transferring information via these devices.


Techtarget. (2012). ICT (Information and Communications Technology-or Technologies) .
Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2012). Information Technology. Retrieved from

Verdonck, M.C., & Ryan, S. (2008). Mainstream Technology as an Occupational Therapy Tool: Technophobe or Technogeek?. Britsh Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(6), 253-256.