Understanding Occupational Therapy

Much of what we know about proper practices and methodology in the world of occupational therapy is advanced by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). AOTA establishes the guidelines for practitioners in the United States. It publishes these guidelines, as well as general information about the practice, in their publication “Framework: Domain and Process.”

The most recent edition, the third edition, was released in 2008. The Framework is a guide for practitioners to assess patients’ needs and help them find better solutions to achieving their goals. It provides the structure for this assessment in three basic steps: Evaluation, Intervention, and Targeting of Outcomes.

Understanding the Framework will allow you to get the most out of your relationship with your medical professional and your treatment. By equipping yourself within the Framework, you can better achieve your goals.


Evaluation is the first part of the discovery process. On paper, the evaluation portion consists of finding out what a patient has done and is able to do. Your practitioner will want to find out what sorts of jobs you’ve held in the past, how you were able to perform those jobs, and whether or not your environment, coworkers, own work ethics, or outside factors contributed to your success or failure at that job. Your doctor might speak to you, people you’ve worked with, or family members to get a clearer picture of what is going to be suitable for you as a worker.


According to the AOTA’s Framework, intervention is a collaborative process. After the interviews, you and your practitioner will work together to devise a plan that utilizes your personal strengths in the job market. Part of this plan is finding a compromise between your personal goals and the practical applications of this plan.

Intervention is an attempt to change some habit or action that previously kept you from success. Identifying unwanted or non-vital habits and replacing them with more desirable habits in a safe environment with lots of outside support helps increase the chances that these habits will be maintained as you move into the workforce.

Targeting of Outcomes

Occupational therapy acknowledges that adjusting to the workforce is an ongoing process. It might take multiple plans, or multiple attempts, before the original goals of the practitioner and client are met. This section of the Framework is meant to allow the doctor and patient to modify their approach and change any aspects of the evaluation or intervention plan.

For some people, occupational therapy is a single interaction between client and practitioner that creates a habit. For others, it is the beginning of a lifelong process, with doctor and patient constantly working in tandem to achieve ever-changing goals. In either situation, the hard work of both the specialist and patient leads to success. An understanding of this relationship can help navigate the varied decision-making involved in the day-to-day practice of occupational therapy. The Framework highlights the value of this relationship and can be a useful tool.

Coloring Pages for Kids

Coloring books are a thing of the past. Kids today aren’t as thrilled by a basic coloring book as children a generation ago. That is because these children have been spoiled by all the fantastic new methods of coloring using the computer or with fancy markers and pens. While you might get away with a coloring book and crayons for a long car trip, don’t expect your school age children to sit quietly at the table coloring pictures the old fashioned way – there is a something better around, and they know it.

Online Coloring Pages

The computer and the internet have opened an entirely new spectrum of coloring and drawing. Adults now make very sizable livings creating, drawing and coloring pictures for computer animation including video games, movies, commercials and items most adults would never consider, such as some high-quality information websites. With this option available as a full-fledged career for adults, it is no wonder that the tools and formats used in this style of artwork have carried down to children, albeit on a smaller scale.

Kids are now able to draw online and even animate the drawings. In addition to this, one of the most popular forms of online entertainment is basic online coloring pages. If the coloring books of yesterday are fading away, coloring pages for kids on the internet have definitely taken their place. The coloring pages for kids can contain any style of picture imaginable, and some websites, such as TheDollPalace.com, create their own coloring pages using some of the site’s most popular dolls.

Coloring Page Communities

Some websites offer very basic coloring pages for kids that can be printed off and colored. Others create interactive coloring pages that require children to work on the computer itself to color the images. Unlike the basic websites, the interactive coloring pages are often found on more complex websites that act as a full-fledged community. The coloring pages are only one of many things available to do on a particular site.

On TheDollPalace.com, for example, dolls of every shape and size are available for children to play with and create, and then favorites are created into coloring pages. When dolls and coloring pages are complete, there are still interesting articles to read, personalities about the dolls to create, contests to take part in, and even forums and chats to visit to get to know other doll and coloring enthusiasts.

While coloring pages may seem simple in the minds of parents and other adults these days, they are often the passport into a more creative style of play. Yes, your child will simply color the picture online, but by doing so, she is learning not only to stay inside the lines, but to balance color and texture and to simply use her imagination. If a coloring page for kids is the first step into a full-fledged imagination based entertainment package, it is unlikely many parents will find them simple for long.

Spring Forward With Fruits and Vegetables

Now that you’ve finished up the big meal from the Spring holiday, let’s get the folks who strayed from their best laid “healthy” eating plan back on track. In this season of fresh tender vegetables and richly flavored fruits, these food groups come with plenty of the right stuff. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables are an aid in maintaining good health. A produce-filled diet can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower the risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help you monitor your appetite and avoid overeating.

According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only one out of ten Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. Consumption varies throughout the country, however all regions fall short of recommended goals. The federal recommendation for fruit is 1-1/2 to 2 cups a day while vegetables weigh in at 2 to 3 cups daily. How much is enough? If you eat one banana and one-half apple, you’ve met your fruit goal. You can knock out the veggie recommendations by adding a side salad or slaw with lunch and two vegetables with dinner. It is easy and this is the season when we start to see more of the fresh items that have been out of season. Although most fresh produce can be found year ’round, the price is generally better when they’re in season. And remember you can use canned, frozen or dried produce e to eat the amounts recommended each day.

In addition to the perennial favorites of asparagus, artichokes, chives, strawberries and grapefruit, I’m sharing information on in-season choices that may not be top-of-mind. One of my goals is to share options and encourage you to eat from a variety of foods to make a colorful plate.

New Potatoes are often red-skinned, small and freshly harvested. You can find them in the market April to July. They retain their shape when cooking and are a sweeter potato because their sugar content is not converted to starch yet. They are a good source of Vitamin C, and low in fat and calories. They also contain antioxidants which can help prevent hypertension and protect against heart disease and cancer.

Snap Peas are in the legume family. They are in the market March to June. The crisp pea pods do not require shucking before cooking and are a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to both bone and heart health. They contain Vitamins A, C, B6, folate and vitamin K. These peas are low in calories and are a source of fiber.

Cara Cara Oranges are available December through April. These sweet and tangy oranges are seedless which makes them very easy to use as a snack or in salads. They are high in vitamin C with a reddish-pink flesh. The flavor is similar to strawberries and cranberries.

Kumquats are miniature oval-shaped oranges, which have a thin sweet skin that can be eaten. They also contain seeds which you will want to avoid because they are bitter; remove them before eating or cooking. They’re available January to June and make a great snack or addition to breads and muffins. This bite-size citrus is a good source of dietary fiber; vitamins C and A. Eight whole kumquats contain just 18 calories.

As you increase the fruits and vegetables in your daily diet, consider these foods and try new varieties found at the supermarket. As you try new items, think of them as samples-you just may like them enough to add to your menu often.