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David Schelly

In this Section

David Schelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Occupational Therapy
Clarkson Hall, Room 3208
59 Main St.
Potsdam, NY 13676

Phone: 315-268-4436
Fax: 315-268-7743


PhD, Sociology, University of Wisconsin
MS, Sociology, University of Wisconsin
BS, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University

OT 515: Foundations in Evidence Based Practice: Applied Research I
OT 517: Foundations in Evidence Based Practice: Applied Research II
OT 631: Engineering Pathway to Clinical Practice: Occupational Therapist as Educator I
OT 641: Engineering Pathway to Clinical Practice: Occupational Therapist as Educator II

Research Interests
-Social epidemiology
-Spatial patterns of illness and disease
-Sociology of diagnosis
-Health behavior and communication

Selected Publications
Schelly, D., Gonzalez, P.J., & Solis, P. (2015). The diffusion of autism spectrum disorder in Costa Rica: Evidence of information spread or environmental effects? Health & Place 35, 119-127.

Schelly, D. (2008). Problems associated with choice and quality of life for an individual with intellectual disability: A personal assistant’s reflexive ethnography. Disability & Society, 23(7), 719-732.

Recent Presentations
Schelly, D. (2011, March). My roommate with autism: Language, social interaction, and what I thought I knew. Paper presented at the Symposium on Autism Spectrum Disorders, Transition and transformation: Students with autism spectrum disorders in the college environment, Fort Collins, CO.

Current Projects
“Capturing the wrong bats in Costa Rica: A shop floor ethnography of diagnostic practices in the field”
“Counting bears while being assessed: Wittgenstein, a child with autism, and assessment practices”
“Physician face-time and the inequitable diagnosis of autism”
“Activity analysis in action: Using ethnomethodology in occupational therapy”

A Little More About Dr. Schelly
Dr. Schelly was trained in ethnomethodology and grounded theory, two qualitative subfields of sociology. The latter is used widely in OT and the other health sciences, and Dr. Schelly is currently exploring how ethnomethodology can be incorporated into OT practice. Using qualitative and quantitative data, his dissertation identified geographic clusters of childhood autism cases in Costa Rica and investigated factors associated with differential risk of autism diagnosis. His current projects include work in Costa Rica, the Bahamas, and soon, the North Country.