National AD/HD Awareness Day

It’s National AD/HD Awareness Day on 19 September 2007. This campaign is being led by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) for the fourth year in a row.

awareness poster swiped from ADDA

Help promote awareness on AD/HD by distrbuting this fact sheet in your community. There’s also a list of books that ADDA suggests you read through to gain more knowledge about this disorder.


And while we are on the subject of AD/HD… do you have a question about it? Join Ty Pennington (of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition) and a group of AD/HD experts on the 19th of September, 8AM to midnight EDT, for some live and free Q & A. For more information on this one-day-only event, visit ADHD Experts on Call.

National Stroke Week

It’s National Stroke Week on the 17th to the 23rd of September here in Australia. This campaign aims to increase awareness of stroke and inform people about the signs of stroke and how to prevent it.

Facts and Figures

  • The second single greatest killer and leading cause of disability in Australia is stroke.
  • In Australia, 53,000 people have a stroke every year and there are around 350,000 people living with stroke.

Acting FAST
The National Stroke Foundation is encouraging everyone to act FAST when recognising and remembering the signs of stroke.

swiped from

Concise Stroke Rehabilitation & Recovery Guidelines
Get a downloadable copy of this by clicking on the following links:
Occupational Therapy
Speech Pathology

2007 National Rehabilitation Awareness Celebration

NRAFIt’s National Rehabilitation Awareness on the 16th to the 22nd of September. This is spearheaded by the National Rehabilitation Awareness Foundation whose mission is ‘to educate people about the benefits and impact of rehabilitation; develop programs which aim to increase opportunities for the nearly 50 million Americans with disabilities, and help those who are disabled live up to their fullest potential.’

Sadly, when we mention the term rehabilitation, some people still perceive it as something that it is wholly related to drug addicts recovering from their vice. Let’s try to correct that misconception, shall we? Here are some rehab facts and information that you may not be well aware of:

  • Rehabilitation is a medical specialty which helps restore people affected by potentially disabling disease or traumatic injury to good health and functional, productive lives and also helps minimize physical or cognitive disabilities.
  • Rehabilitation often centers on a interdisciplinary team approach to care by physiatrists (physicians specializing in rehabilitation); physical, occupational, respiratory and recreational therapists; speech and language pathologists; rehabilitation nurses, psychologists, vocational counselors and other professionals who work with patients to restore the greatest level of function or independence. The rehab team helps individuals overcome obstacles and accomplish normal tasks of daily living.
  • Nearly 50 million Americans are disabled. Disability does not discriminate – every person is at risk of disability. Therefore, everyone is a potential candidate for rehabilitation.
  • Most Americans will require at least one rehabilitation service at some point in their lives.
  • Rehabilitation is an integral part of healthcare and a tremendous component in providing patients with positive outcomes.
  • Rehabilitation is individualized so every patient can progress at his or her own ability level.
  • Rehabilitation can lengthen life, improve the quality of life and reduce subsequent illness.
  • Statistics show that medical rehabilitation improves lives and saves money. For every $1 spent on rehab care, it is estimated that $11 are saved on long-term disability costs. People participating in rehabilitation programs of care are able to regain productivity and return to work, school and independent living.
  • Independence gained or retained through rehabilitation is priceless.

See related literature:
Rehabilitation in the Philippines by Tyrone Reyes, MD

AOTA declares National School Backpack Awareness Day

logo swiped from AOTAThe American Occupational Therapy Association has declared 19 September 2007 as National School Backpack Awareness Day. Their theme is “Pack It Light, Wear It Right!”

This awareness campaign was created to educate children, parents, teachers, and communities about the serious health problems children may have from backpacks that are too heavy or worn improperly.

What’s the fuss about wearing backpacks? Here’s the lowdown on several studies made on the effects of improper wearing of backpacks:

More than 40 million children in the United States carry school backpacks, and more than half of them may be carrying too much weight. Children carrying overloaded backpacks and improperly worn packs, according to U.S. and international studies, are likely to experience neck, shoulder, and back pain; adverse effects on posture and the developing spine; and compromised breathing and fatigue. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission estimates that more than 7,000 emergency room visits in 2001 resulted from injuries related to backpacks and book bags — half of those occurred among children between the ages of five and 14, the ages of elementary and middle-school students. The growing awareness of potential long-term problems to children has resulted in increased medical research and proposed legislation in at least two states to address the issue of backpack weight in relation to student health.

Summary of the literature from 1999 to 2002 on the effects of wearing backpacks on students

* Download a printable version of this here.

So what’s the proper way of loading and wearing backpacks?

  • Backpacks should weigh no more than 15% of body weight (15-pound pack on a 100-pound child);
  • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back;
  • Wear both shoulder straps for an evenly balanced load;
  • Adjust shoulder and waist straps to distribute the burden more evenly along the child’s back; and
  • Suggest that teachers consider the total weight of each day’s assigned class work — not only in content, but also in terms of textbook weight.

* Download a printable copy of this here.

Read more of this awareness campaign here.

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