Research Article  |   March 2014
Activity Participation Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author Affiliations
  • Lauren M. Little, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, MS2003, Kansas City, KS 66160. At the time of the study, she was Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC; llittle@kumc.edu
  • John Sideris, PhD, is Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Karla Ausderau, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Occupational Therapy Program, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Grace T. Baranek, PhD, is Professor and Associate Chair for Research, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / School-Based Practice / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   March 2014
Activity Participation Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2014, Vol. 68, 177-185. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009894
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2014, Vol. 68, 177-185. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009894
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to empirically derive dimensions of activity participation among a sample of school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; n = 713). Additionally, we examined the associations between dimensions of activity participation and child characteristics (i.e., chronological age, autism severity, gender) and family demographics (i.e., maternal education).

METHOD. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the factors on the Home and Community Activities Scale (HCAS). Multiple regression was used to examine the extent to which child characteristics and family demographics were related to HCAS dimensions.

RESULTS. A six-factor model best characterized activity participation among the school-age children with ASD, and child characteristics and family demographics were differentially associated with HCAS dimensions.

CONCLUSION. The findings have implications for how activities may be categorized for children with ASD and suggest that the frequency of specific activities is affected by child characteristics and maternal education.