Blog Comment Devastation- I need reader advice

Update: I received several e-mails and comments, which I am very grateful for. It gave me a lot of insight and it was a great learning experience. I’ve decided to keep the Lolcat post up, but put on a disclaimer. Several different perspectives were pointed out to me and it opened my eyes. The “debate” basically ended up that people who are not disabled didn’t find it offensive at all, and my friends especially felt quite strongly I was in the right. Which I did appreciate, since my intentions were good. But I also got some differing viewpoints from mothers with special needs children and a few other people with disabilities, and I understand why. I vow to be more careful from now on, and will repeat one more time that no offense was ever intended. Thank you all again so much for your insightful and helpful and sweet comments.


Yesterday, an anonymous person left a comment sharing their dismay at my post written a few days ago, “Occupational Therapy as Described by Lolcats”

Here is their comment:

“As a healthcare consumer, these feels condescending, arrogant, disrespectful – as thought clients and providers are 2 different species. I am guessing as you are a student that that was not at all your intent, but I tell you honestly that’s how it feels to me.
Wishing you success and wisdom in your chosen career. Keep in mind that the people that use your services are people too – people with their own careers, relationships, and lives.”

————–
When I read this comment, I almost cried. It reminded me that while having a blog is mostly fun, it also leaves me open to criticism. I pondered taking down that particular post. I couldn’t e-mail the person since there is no contact information. I talked with a friend (who had previously told me she loved the post), and she said I should open it up to the community. Did any of you find this post offensive and disrespectful toward clients? Is it wrong of me? Should I take it down?

My take on the manner is that it meant no harm. If you read my blog regularly, you know that every other entry is how we should be client-based, compassionate, open-minded, etc. But occupational therapy is not all fun and games. As an occupational therapist, I might deal with people who have severe depression, rage, or other serious issues, all day every day. This can lead to a lot of stress and burn-out, just like it does in any healthcare profession. I think it’s important to look at things from a humorous standpoint at times to try and prevent that potential burnout. I by no means meant to imply clients are a different species and that therapists are superior, and I hope the majority of people who read this post feel the way I do – that it was not disrespectful.

However, I am just an occupational therapy STUDENT, and I still have a lot to learn. I blog to chart my journey from student to clinician, and to share this journey with others who have or might want to follow this path as well. It is not a straight path to “perfection”, and I am bound to make mistakes or put things badly at times. My overall desire is to profess my LOVE for occupational therapy, and my JOY at getting to help clients improve their lives. If some of my posts don’t get that across, I apologize.

So please, readers, let me know what you think about the post on Lolcats, linked above. – Disrespectful? Wrong? Acceptable? I really, REALLY want to know what you all think.

Thanks!
Karen
PS: I didn’t really have the time to write this right now, but that comment has been floating in my head for two days and so I needed to write this out. Posts on sensory integration (SI) and new readers coming by this weekend!
PS2: Check out http://www.growingupwithadisability.blogspot.com/ for the blog carnival, posted today! My entry is on there! I can’t wait to read the entries!

Aug 23, 2007 | Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 6

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