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Research Article  |   March 2001
From Waiting to Relating: Parents’ Experiences in the Waiting Room of an Occupational Therapy Clinic
Author Affiliations
  • Ellen S. Cohn, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Clinical Associate Professor, Boston University, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215; ecohn@bu.edu
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children
Research Article   |   March 2001
From Waiting to Relating: Parents’ Experiences in the Waiting Room of an Occupational Therapy Clinic
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2001, Vol. 55, 167-174. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.2.167
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2001, Vol. 55, 167-174. doi:10.5014/ajot.55.2.167
Abstract

Objective.The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of parents’ perceptions of outcomes of occupational therapy intervention using a sensory integration approach.

Method.Interviews with parents regarding their children’s participation in occupational therapy were analyzed using grounded theory.

Results.The parents’ experiences of sitting in the waiting room while their children received occupational therapy emerged as a powerful outcome theme. Through their interactions with other parents, this particular group of parents gave and received naturally occurring support for parenting children with sensory integrative dysfunction. Additionally, by virtue of repeated experiences of waiting, parents moved to positions of liminality, shared weekly rituals, engaged in downward social comparison, and reframed their views of their children.

Conclusion.Implications are proposed for expanding the definition of family-centered intervention; attending to the meaning of the cultural world of practice; and directing future research related to how a physical setting, such as a waiting room, might shape naturally occurring support and social interaction.