This year, the theme of the 52nd AOTI Conference was “Looking Back, Moving Forward.” The conference certainly delivered on this theme looking at the changes of the OT Profession over the last 5 decades whilst offering the opportunity to learn about lesser known equipment and therapies.
Gina Daly and Natalie Power represented the SI Network at the event – listening to the presentations, speaking to delegates from the their exhibition stand and visiting other exhibitors.
The Keynote speech was delivered by Mary Barrett who spoke about changes to the OT profession but also about the “privilege of therapy” – working with people during times of crisis, change or transition.
Lesser known therapies were also introduced to the audience including
Hippotherapy for children with disabilities, which was presented by Sarah Beasley, Occupational Therapist and owner of “Strides”, a private occupational therapy clinic. Hippotherapy utilises equine movement as part of an integrated intervention programme to achieve functional outcomes. The horse is used as a therapy tool to obtain intensive sensory input. Much of the equine movement relates back to sensory integration principles.
Away from the main presentations, was a display of research posters – allowing delegates to read about current research projects. These included the work of Aine Henry, MSc in SI. Her research looked at primary school teachers’ experiences of teaching children with sensory processing difficulties.
Several other research posters were displayed which focused on the sensory processing theme also.
Finally, the AOTI announced that their Journal, The Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy (IJOT) would be launched online. Two editions per year will be published. If you are interested in contributing, submissions can be made here. Details on submitting are available here.
The SI Network would like to thank the AOTI committee for organising the Conference and look forward to taking part again next year.