Congratulations to Professor Emeritus Helene Polatajko on being appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Announced by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada on December 29, Prof. Polatajko was recognized for “significantly advancing the understanding of developmental coordination disorder in children.” Prof. Polatajko is one of 135 appointments to the Order of Canada in 2021. Dr. Helene J. Polatajko is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. She is a world leader in the field of developmental coordination disorder and in the profession of occupational therapy. Dr. Polatajko’s seminal research on the nature and management of developmental coordination disorder revealed that the dominant sensory-motor hypotheses were not supportable and that the interventions based on these hypotheses were ineffective in improving children’s performance. This body of work spurred a paradigm shift in assessing and treating developmental coordination disorder.
Her work over the past four decades has significantly shaped the education and practice of occupational therapists, the field of rehabilitation, and healthcare more broadly, through her excellence in teaching and curricular development, dedicated mentorship, methodical and rigorous rehabilitation intervention development and research, and acclaimed scholarship in advancing client-centred, occupation-based practice.
In the fields of occupational science and occupational therapy, Dr. Polatajko is a distinguished teacher and scholar in Canada and around the world. Her preeminent and innovative research on cognitive strategies and tireless work teaching and mentoring academics, educators, students, and practitioners established her as a model of exemplary scholarship.
January 11, 2022