30 May 2017
Animal-assisted therapy, circus activities and even magic tricks are among the innovative occupational therapy (OT) techniques outlined in a new book co-edited by a USC academic.
USC Lecturer in Occupational Therapy Dr Ann Kennedy-Behr worked with an international team of experts to develop and recently release the second edition of Occupation-Centred Practice with Children: A Practical Guide for Occupational Therapists.
Dr Kennedy-Behr and Emeritus Professor Sylvia Rodger of The University of Queensland edited the book that details evidence-based approaches for working with children and families, including coaching, interventions within schools and using animals.
She said the 16-chapter book was designed as a practice-based, hands-on guide for both experienced clinicians and OT students.
“Our vision was that this can be a practical tool that would help clinicians create better outcomes for children and their families,” she said. “In addition to typical OT chapters, we’ve brought in chapters about using alternative approaches to help children meet their goals.
“Activities like learning to perform card tricks are fantastic motivators – they let children focus on a fun activity or experience while also improving their motor skills and self-confidence.
“It was fantastic getting to work with some extremely experienced and talented authors both from Australia and around the world.”
Occupation-Centred Practice with Children, published by Wiley, is expected to be used as a required text for OT degrees in a number of universities across Australia and Europe.
Dr Kennedy-Behr said she was honoured to have been asked to co-edit the book with Professor Rodger, who died last month.
“Sylvia was extremely well-regarded within the OT field, and was considered a leading expert on working with children with autism,” she said.
“I’m proud to have been asked to join this project by someone I respect so much, and I’ll be promoting the book in her memory.”
— Gen Kennedy