Thursday, September 9, 2010

OT looking to work in Egypt:

My name is Lucie and I am a Paediatric OT, I have worked in Scotland, UK for 14 years and am currently working at a school for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. I am looking into the possiblity of living and working as an OT in Egypt and would be really interested to hear from anyone who is currently working there or anyone who knows of any opportunities coming up. I hope to visit early in the new year (2011) with a view to coming out for the longer term after that and would be keen to meet up. My email is or you can find me on Facebook; Lucie Fontana (my picture is a black labrador puppy sniffing my trainer!). 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

OT program to begin November 2010


I am happy to say a PG Diploma in Occupational Therapy program will begin in November at Ain Sham's University. Visiting lecturers will be provided from McGill University in Canada. The program is enrolling up to 25 participants with either a PT or Medical BSc background.

If you are interested in applying, please contact Ahmed El Kahky: 


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Autism Awareness Month

The following is an update from Maha Helali, regarding April events held for Autism Awareness Month:

Since 2005, ADVANCE has launched and held the “April is the Autism Awareness Month” campaign in Egypt, with the aim of creating awareness about Autism, advocating for early intervention for better prognosis for the children’s future, showing the children’s strengths as active participants in society and to allow for their inclusion within the community in general.

ADVANCE recruits from amongst 80 organizations active in the field of catering services to persons with Autism and their families from different governorates in Egypt, to participate in the following functions:

1)    An Arts’ Exhibition for the children’s arts and crafts productions hosted by the Ministry of Culture at the Prince Taz Palace
2)    A Sport’s Gala hosted by the Wadi Degla Sports Club in Zahraa Al-Maadi

3)    A seminar hosted by Al-Sawi Cultural Wheel in Zamalek with the aim of creating awareness and disseminating information.
4)    A two day conference entitled “Medical & Educational Innovations in the Field of Autism,” in Aswan.
5)    A variety of TV and radio coverings.

Friday, April 23, 2010

OT Blogs

Here is a site that has links to OT Blog feeds; however, as I went through them some are no longer active:

Feedback regarding Saudi OT Conference this month

Farah Sabra, an Occupational Therapist from Lebanon, recently attended the 1st Saudi Arabian Occupational Therapy Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

She very much enjoyed her experience and provided the following information:

“The Occupational Therapy department at King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences and the National Guard-Health Affairs in collaboration with Postgraduate Education and Academic Affairs, has organized the 1st Saudi Arabian Occupational Therapy Conference in Riyadh on 06-07 April 2010.

From a personal point of view, the conference was a huge success. It was beyond expectations as it was the first OT symposium. The organizers made great efforts to make this conference successful. They were very receptive, friendly and helpful.

Each topic presented and discussed was of great importance. Lectures started always on time and people were amazingly respecting the time table. Almost every attendee and presenter expressed their amazement by how organized and rich the conference was. Although the back to back lectures were a little tiring, every one made sure not to miss any of them.   
The main objectives of the conference were to exchange knowledge and standards with international organizations and therapists, as well as, highlighting the recent advances and technologies in the Occupational Therapy fields. The conference also aimed to discuss strategies for promoting the role of Occupational Therapy in Rehabilitation in the Arab world.

The conference targeted a variety of audiences such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, orthotics, prosthetics, vocational therapists and physicians.

13 international Occupational Therapists form Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Switzerland and Italy, as well as, 4 Occupational Therapists from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan presented a variety of topics. 

The following topics were covered:
·        The viability of OT in the 21st century
·        Defining OT concepts
·        OT’s unique approach to case management
·        WFOT revised minimum standards for the education of Occupational Therapists: promoting evidence-based education and practice.
·        Depressive symptomatology in Dementia.
·        Dementia and the role of OT
·        Assessing and managing pain in older persons with Alzheimer’s disease.
·        Pain and the therapeutic media of art
·        Falls prevention initiative at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
·        Transition to adulthood for persons with CP and Spina Bifida
·        Understanding sensory challenges
·        Early detection and prevention of oral sensory defensiveness associated with oral feeding
·        The role of Play and Choice in the treatment of emotionally disturbed children
·        Variability in gross motor and fine motor development in young children
·        Creative OT intervention for brain injured adolescent
·        Principles of OT in burned children
·        Enhancing the quality of life of burn survivors within a uniquely Saudi Arabian context
·        The constraint induced movement therapy for stroke survivors in Jordan
·        Function and structure of the foot/Role of OT in foot problems
·        The cause of pain at the base of the thumb (CMC joint)
·        The incidence and variation of accessory tendons of the APL to the trapezium.
·        Matching persons to assistive technology
·        Telerehabilitation-lessons learned over a decade
·        Congnistat “the neuro behavioral cognitive status examination”. Standardization of the Arabic Version. 

Additional workshops on Hand Therapy and Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) were held on the 8th of April.

It is worth mentioning that the fun part wasn’t omitted from the conference’s schedule. The organizers made sure to generously arrange a few outings to interesting places which was a nice opportunity to be introduced to the Saudi Arabian culture.” 

Thank you, Farah, for the feedback. If anyone else who attended would also like to share their feedback, please post comments on this posting or email me directly.

Hopefully, we will have more yearly OT conferences in the M.E., as well as, more frequent opportunities for continuing education in the region.


Saudi OT Club

History of OT in Saudi Arabia:

"The history of Occupational Therapy in Saudi Arabia is relatively a young one and can be estimated to be approximately 25-years old. Some organization offered a Diploma Programme in Occupational Therapy that graduated Saudi Occupational Therapy assistants for a couple of years. There are Occupational Therapists working in special needs schools and in major hospitals around the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Still, access to Occupational Therapy was limited to a small scale of the population. 

Since then, Occupational Therapy is slowly developing and expanding its horizons in Saudi Arabia as more health services realize its vital role in promoting patients' independence and in adapting their home environment to maximize performance in daily activities. The Ministry of Health as well as some of the major hospitals are offering scholarships to study Occupational Therapy abroad. There is also a future plan to start an Occupational Therapy College within the King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.

However, there is still no recognized association for Occupational Therapy that can formulate a framework for Occupational Therapists working in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the aim of creating the SAOT club is to promote high standards of practice within the profession, promote continuing professional development and promote Occupational Therapy to other health professionals both as a concept and in practice.” 

If you would like more information about OT in Saudi Arabia, go to
(If anyone has any information related to the development of OT in the M.E., it would be my pleasure to share it on this blog).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April is OT Awareness Month

I recently presented a lecture, 'Introduction to OT', for the staff in the Geriatrics and Gerontology Department at Ain Shams University Hospital, Abbasyia.

I was invited by Dr. Ahmed Shawky Mohammedin. He heard about OT while attending a conference in Malta and he was interested in sharing this knowledge with his colleagues. He felt his patients in the geriatric department could definitely benefit from OT services.

The presentation was an overview of OT (i.e. educational background of OT's, where OT's work, who OT's work with, and what is involved in an OT assessment and treatment). Various examples of how OT can benefit geriatric cases were also discussed.

(left to right) Dr. Youmna Al-Gazzar, Resident of Geriatric Medicine inpatient department, Dr Rania Abou-Hashem, Lecturer of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics and Gerontology department, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Laura Efinger, OT/L, Dr. Sara Hamza, Assistant Professor of Geriatrics Gerontology, Head of Geriatrics and Gerontology department, Ain Shams University Hospital, Dr. Hany Ibrahim, Resident of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics Intensive Care Unit, and Dr Ahmed Shawky Mohammedin, Assistant Lecturer of Geriatrics and Gerontology department, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine.

(left to right) Dr. Doha Rashidy, Assistant Lecturer of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics and Gerontology dpt, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Rania Abou-Hashem, Lecturer of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics and Gerontology dpt, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Ghada Farag, Assistant Lecturer of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics and Gerontology dpt, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine, Laura Efinger, OT/L, Dr. Sara Hamza, Assistant Professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Head of Geriatrics and Gerontology department, Ain Shams University Hospital, Dr. Hany Ibrahim, Resident of Geriatric Medicine, Geriatrics Intensive Care Unit, and Dr. Ahmed Shawky Mohammedin, Assistant Lecturer of Geriatrics and Gerontology dpt, Ain Shams Faculty of Medicine.

The department would be eager to have occupational therapists assisting with their clients. If anyone is interested in volunteering, they can contact Dr. Sarah A. Hamza, Head of Geriatrics and Gerontology department:

Perhaps you are an OT looking to gain some work experience, wanting to help others less fortunate than yourself or simply wanting to spend some time experiencing a new culture then perhaps volunteering in the inpatient department is the project for you!

Recent OT graduates and students on mid-year or summer breaks are welcome to spend some time volunteering in the inpatient department, as well! 


Sunday, March 28, 2010

OT Workshops and Fun Filled Educational Baskets!

Well, the conference is over and I presented the two OT workshops: "FAQ: Handwriting" & "Fun and Functional: Card Games." We had a nice mix of participants; parents, teachers, a physical therapist, speech therapist and psychologists who attended the workshops. The feedback from participants was positive and I hope they can apply what they have learned with their own children and/or students they are working with.

The handwriting workshop was a question and answer format covering frequently asked questions, such as "What is a good handwriting program to be used in school?" to "Why does my student use upper case letters in the middle of words?"

Participants were enthusiastic to participate in the raffle and possibly win the Handwriting Without Tears Writing Program, as well as, Callirobics Writing to Music and other writing supplies, such as the Pre-writing Fun Deck, Fine Motor Fun Deck, Pencil Fidgets, Writing Activity Guides, Wikki Stix, and Farm Sticks. 

The card game workshop discussed how to analyze and grade activities to suit a child's needs. Participants enjoyed playing various commercial and non-commercial card games. Participants played with the various donated card games, such as 7ate9, Circles, Giant Spoons, Go Fish, Rummy, Jumbo Cards, Grab a Pig and others...

As participants played the card games, the skills needed to play the games were discussed, such as, but not limited to: reading comprehension, auditory comprehension, divided attention, planning skills, problem solving skills, turn taking, visual motor skills, finger dexterity, and bilateral coordination.

Participants playing various card games!

Psychologists were interested in some of the donated products, such as The New Social Stories Book: Illustrated Version, Emotional Bingo for Children, and One of A Kind: A Self Esteem Card Game.

Some of the raffle winners!

Coincidently, the person who won the basket filled with many of these books is a psychiatrist and pediatrician, Dr. Eman El Sayed and she works with children with special needs, so it was a fabulous match!

Thank you all who attended these workshops and the conference. Thank you all who donated products for the raffle and also to those who bought raffle tickets to support the Advance Society. I hope everyone enjoys the products they won!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blogger Glitch!


Perhaps there is a computer virus or glitch with Blogger, I do not know; however, an old blog posting from February 20, 2009 was somehow resent to blog subscribers!

Ironically, it is a posting about LAST years annual educational conference!

So, just to clarify....the recent email for the conference "Road Map to Positive Behavior" March 19-21, 2009 was LAST years conference.

This years conference Learning Difficulties: Creating a Positive Future is March 25-27th, 2010.

Thanks and sorry for any confusion!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Purchase Raffle Tickets to Raise Money for ADVANCE Society

Purchase Raffle/Tombola Tickets (20LE) at the Learning Resource Center
(effective March 1st)

Well, I have had a good response from various companies regarding donating products to be used in my OT workshops and also to be raffled at the ADVANCE Society's 10th Annual Educational Conference March 25-27th.

Almost 75% of the companies I contacted were willing to donate the items I requested and at least the others responded with an email saying "due to economic situations they were not participating in donations this year." Most responded, though, which was a pleasant surprise...

I only contacted companies that I am happy to promote as I have successfully used products from them in the past for OT sessions...

So far, I have received enough items to fill 5 baskets with a value ranging from $100-$175 (550LE-965LE) per basket. However, some companies are still sending me products, so the number of baskets and the items in each basket are not final!

Raffle/Tombola Tickets 20LE

Available March 1st at the Learning Resource Center

Building #9 Road 278,
New Maadi, Cairo
Tel: (+202) 2516 3965 or 67

***All proceeds raised from the raffle go to the Advance Society***

I have taken a few photos of some of the products....all the products are listed below and can be found on the company websites:

So far, the following companies have donated products:
1. : Donated several Grab a Pig card games. The card games will be used in my workshop, as well as, being available for the raffle.

2. Out of the Box Publishing: Donated several games, such as Super Circles, My Word, Rock, 7Ate9, Run Wild, Word on the Street, and Backseat Drawing Junior. The card games will be used in my workshop, as well as, being available for the raffle. I have used many of the games from this company and the children love them!

3. Super Duper Publications: Donated some great activity kits that use cards, such as the Fine Motor Fun Deck, Move Your Body Fun Deck and the Pre-Writing Fun Deck.

4. Callirobics donated a set of their handwriting to music programs; Learning Letters to Music, Basics Shapes to Music for Developing Pre-Writing Skills, and Pre-writing Skills to Music for 4-7 year olds. Each handwriting booklet comes with a CD of music. I have used these in therapy and children who enjoy music love the worksheets.

5. : Abilitations donated several writing products, such as the Pencil Fidgets, Squiggle Wiggle Writer, Space Paper and Writing Guides.

6. Sensory Tools donated several copy of these 4 CD's; Say G'Day, Jump Jelly Beans, Cool Bananas and It's Circle Time. A direct link to these CD's is: I have often used these music CD's and children love the music and songs!

7. : The Creative Therapy Store is a division of Western Psychological Services who donated Emotional Bingo for Children, Can Do Roo, To Be Me: Understanding What It Is Like to Have Asperger's Syndrome, and One of A Kind: A Self Esteem Card Game. A great company with a wide selection of resources.

8. : Fun and Function donated several fine motor products, such as Farm Sticks, Wikki Stix Alphabet Cards, Fine Motor Book and a Hand Card Holder. Children love using the Farm sticks to pick up small fun items!

9. Handwriting Without Tears donated the Pre-K and Kindergarten Handwriting Programs: Get Set for School Workbook and Pre-K Teacher's Guide, Get Set for School Sing Along CD, Rock, Rap, Tap and Learn CD, Letters and Numbers for Me Workbook and Kindergarten Teacher's Guide, Roll A Dough Letters, Stamp and See Screen, Wood Pieces Set for Capital Letters, Mat for Wood Pieces, Slate Chalkboard, and Blackboard With Double Lines. Items can be found here:

10. S & S Worldwide donated several educational games; Phase 10 & UNO card games, Jumbo Cards, Low Vision Cards, Kids Cards Game Pack, Giant Spoons, and Fitness Dice.

11. They donated several copies of the Bright & Beyond: Activity Idea Cards. Easy to use activity cards with vivid pictures and simple instructions!

12. Future Horizons, Inc. is a leading publisher of books and DVD's on Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, as well as, offering conferences. They donated a great book about Sensory Processing Disorder, Sensitive Sam: written and illustrated by Marla Fisch as a read together book for parents and children with SPD. The book is written from a child's perspective! They also donated the book 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and The New Social Stories Book:Illustrated Version and some copies of the Autism Asperger's Digest Magazine.

13.  Think Fun donated several of Four Children's Card Games & our favorite, Rush Hour!

So, take a chance and perhaps for only 20LE you may win a fabulous basket of goodies & help support the ADVANCE Society!

Winners will be selected and announced March 27th at the conference.

THANKS to all companies that donated these products and thanks in advance to people who purchase the tickets!