Adult Cognition Conference a Success
By Stephanie Yamkovenko
Cognition disorders for adults is expected to be a growing problem for our aging population, and occupational therapy practitioners need to have extensive knowledge and expertise to provide care to people surviving stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. AOTA’s specialty conference on adult cognition brought together the most well-known experts in occupational therapy to give attendees in-depth information on addressing cognitive disorders.
More than 200 occupational therapy clinicians and educators attended AOTA’s Adult Cognition Specialty Conference in late October 2011 to gain the expertise needed for this important practice area. Conference attendees said they were impressed with the sessions and the quality of the speakers, which included Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Gordon Muir Guiles, PhD, ORT/L, FAOTA; Noomi Katz, PhD, OTR; Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA; and Laura N. Gitlin, PhD among others.
“The conference was great because it was really for clinicians who wanted to have strategies to do important and meaningful work with their clients who have had cognitive loss,” says Baum. “It was a wonderful experience to have a dialogue between scientists and clinicians, but with a focus on the clinical. It was a fabulous conference—one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended.”
The specialty conference was in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and coincided with the final two games of Major League Baseball’s World Series, being played next door. The excitement of the home town win for the Cardinals was contagious and further energized attendees and speakers.
“The Adult Cognition Specialty Conference was a big success, and we are pleased that so many occupational therapy clinicians and educators were able to hear first hand from the experts in the field,” says Maureen Peterson, AOTA’s chief professional affairs officer. “Dr. Carolyn Baum, former AOTA President, kicked off the conference with a wonderful presentation related to ‘cognition and everyday life’ and Dr. Laura Gitlin closed with a call to action for occupational therapists to take on the role of ‘leaders in dementia care.’ Both were very dynamic and truly inspiring speakers.”
This was AOTA’s second specialty conference. AOTA designed the specialty conferences for occupational therapy practitioners who want to learn in-depth information about a concentrated area of practice. AOTA’s first specialty conference was on autism and was so popular that AOTA is offering it again as the Autism West Specialty Conference in December for occupational therapy practitioners on the West Coast. The two specialty conferences planned for 2012 will address stroke and warrior transition.
Stephanie Yamkovenko is AOTA’s staff writer.