Empowering others: sharing experiences, ideas; offering creative solutions to common challenges.


Write to me at b.able2@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Recently Published Article on the Shriners Blog!

Debra A. Latour, M Ed, OTR/L, has worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, Mass for 13 years. Before she was employed by the hospital, she was a patient. Her parents sought treatment at Shriners when she was a toddler for an upper limb deficiency.
For many years, Debi used the traditional body-powered prosthesis which is activated by a figure-of-eight or a figure-of-nine harness system, using the opposite shoulder as the power source. Many users of this system complain of discomfort from the harness, typically the rubbing on the skin by the harness, asymmetry of the shoulders, pain in the opposite shoulder area, difficulty while performing tasks with both limbs, and diminished physical appearance. When Debi began to experience her own problems with the usual harness system, she relied on her 30 years of experience to solve her issues.
As a Senior Occupational Therapist, Debi knows exactly how to help patients develop skills needed to live as independently as possible and to help improve the quality of their lives. In an effort to achieve these goals for patients with an upper limb deficiency, she invented a new and improved way of harnessing a body-powered prosthesis called the Ipsilateral Scapular Cutaneous Anchor system (the “Anchor”). Her design eliminates the usual harnessing, often a source of complaint and one reason why children reject prostheses.
Debi submitted a paper on the “Anchor” to the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists which was accepted for presentation at the 2011 Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium in Orlando, FL.  Presentations such as this serve to inform professionals in the community of new and creative solutions in treatment and also promote Shriners Hospitals for Children as a center of innovation and excellence in treatment, research and education.
While attending the symposium, Debi was interviewed by a reporter for O&P Business News.  She provides a wonderful account of how her invention and her blog, Single-Handed Solutions, materialized. Watch for the link soon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How Have You Been...?

Hello Everyone! I hope that you have enjoyed festive holidays and are entertaining a blessed new year.... Now,  as much as we here in the northeast might love our four seasons (yes, winter being one of them), I for one am seriously looking forward to a pleasant spring!
I apologize for the long hiatus and though I was not publishing entries, I do have 10 "in the works" and almost ready for your review. Before I tell you what we will be discussing, I would like to take a moment to share some of my adventures. I had the privilege of travelling to Belgium to speak at the Loth Symposium at the invitation of Dr.Corrie von Sluis and Mr. Gerritt Visser from The Netherlands. I re-acquainted with several occupational therapists, prosthetists and engineers and learned much from them. It was a fantastic opportunity and I enjoyed a wonderful time. Thank you to you all!
Upon my return I underwent surgery with a lengthy recuperation. During this time I responded personally to many of your inquiries and drafted the entries that you will be reading. We will pick up where we left off: with activities of daily living. These upcoming issues will demonstrate strategies for completing various fasteners on clothing and jewelry, as well as diversional activities... cutting, computer key boarding, playing the guitar and knitting.
Thank you for reading and being a part of this blog. Single-Handed Solutions is now read in 51 countries and is translated into 34 languages. As in the past I look forward to your comments, suggestions and inquiries. May you be richly blessed!