Research Article  |   September 2012
Impact of a Contextual Intervention on Child Participation and Parent Competence Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pretest–Posttest Repeated-Measures Design
Author Affiliations
  • Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, School of Health Professions, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3033 Robinson Hall, Mailstop 2003, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, KS 66160-7602; wdunn@kumc.edu
  • Jane Cox, MS, OTR, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Lauren Foster, OTD, OTR, is Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Lisa Mische-Lawson, PhD, RRT, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Jennifer Tanquary, MEd, is Research Program Administrator, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Sensory Integration and Processing / Intervention Effectiveness
Research Article   |   September 2012
Impact of a Contextual Intervention on Child Participation and Parent Competence Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Pretest–Posttest Repeated-Measures Design
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2012, Vol. 66, 520-528. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.004119
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September/October 2012, Vol. 66, 520-528. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.004119
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We tested an occupational therapy contextual intervention for improving participation in children with autism spectrum disorders and for developing parental competence.

METHOD. Using a repeated-measures pretest–posttest design, we evaluated the effectiveness of a contextually relevant reflective guidance occupational therapy intervention involving three components: authentic activity settings, family’s daily routines, and the child’s sensory processing patterns (Sensory Profile). We used these components to coach 20 parents in strategies to support their child’s participation. Intervention sessions involved reflective discussion with parents to support them in identifying strategies to meet their goals and make joint plans for the coming week. We measured child participation (Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, Goal Attainment Scaling) and parent competence (Parenting Sense of Competence, Parenting Stress Index).

RESULTS. Results indicated that parents felt more competent and children significantly increased participation in everyday life, suggesting that this approach is an effective occupational therapy intervention.