March 2020

O&P Techs Collaborate on Children’s Book About a Boy and His New AFO

Three graduates of the Prosthetic-Orthotic Technician Program at George Brown College, Ontario, Canada, have collaborated on a new children’s book, which was recently published and is available for sale on Amazon. Beau and His New AFO: A Children’s Guide to Ankle Foot Orthoses was written by Stephanie Blunt and illustrated by Amelia Levick and Katrina Whitmell. The idea for the rhyming story was conceived by Blunt 4 years ago, she said, when she typed out the first sentence, “Today is a special day, Beau! Today you are getting your new AFO.”

Research by Blunt, Levick, and Whitmell revealed a gap in resources available to pediatric patients regarding the wear and care of orthoses. After interviewing local O&P clinicians and professionals who worked with children, they directed the storyline to feature the most common concerns of AFO care and to understand the “why” behind the instructions they receive. The story is about two characters who both wear AFOs, one who is ambulatory and one who is not. “We did this intentionally to represent the diverse population of AFO users and help children understand the purpose behind their devices,” Blunt said. The book also includes a customizable wearing schedule chart and pages where clinicians can record additional notes.

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