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Research Article  |   September 2005
The Problem With Prevention: The Case of Spina Bifida
Author Affiliations
  • Ann Neville-Jan, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Therapy, University of Southern California, 1540 Alcazar Street, CHP-133, Los Angeles, California 90089-9003; aneville@usc.edu
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Disability and Participation
Research Article   |   September 2005
The Problem With Prevention: The Case of Spina Bifida
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2005, Vol. 59, 527-539. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.5.527
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2005, Vol. 59, 527-539. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.5.527
Abstract

In this paper, I present a viewpoint about prevention and spina bifida that is not usually expressed within the occupational therapy literature. Using an autoethnographic account, I convey my experiences as a person with impairments from spina bifida in order to problematize current preventive efforts undertaken to eradicate this birth defect. This self-reflexive account connects my personal experiences to historical and medical views about spina bifida. The messages inherent in preventive efforts are discussed from a disability rights perspective. Occupational therapists are challenged to examine their attitudes toward disability, act as advocates in their practice, and, in a more informed manner, support or contest policy initiatives.