Research Article  |   July 2014
Parents’ Explanatory Models and Hopes for Outcomes of Occupational Therapy Using a Sensory Integration Approach
Author Affiliations
  • Ellen S. Cohn, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Clinical Professor and MSOT Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; ecohn@bu.edu
  • Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston, MA
  • Jamie A. Schub, MS, OTR/L, is Graduate Student, Boston University Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston, MA
  • Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Director of Research and Education, Spiral Foundation, Watertown, MA
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Sensory Integration and Processing / Children and Youth
Research Article   |   July 2014
Parents’ Explanatory Models and Hopes for Outcomes of Occupational Therapy Using a Sensory Integration Approach
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 454-462. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.010843
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 454-462. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.010843
Abstract

PURPOSE. To describe parents’ concerns and hopes for their children who would be receiving occupational therapy using a sensory integration approach.

METHOD. Content analysis of 275 parental responses to three open-ended questions on developmental–sensory history intake forms.

FINDINGS. Parents’ descriptions of why they sought for their children were categorized into four overarching concerns about their children’s challenges: self-regulation, interacting with peers, participating in skilled motor activities, and self-confidence. Parents often linked these concerns together, revealing explanatory models of how they make sense of potential relationships among their children’s challenges and how these challenges affect occupational performance. Parents hoped occupational therapy would help their children develop self-understanding and frustration tolerance to self-regulate their behavior in socially acceptable ways.

IMPLICATIONS. Assessment and intervention should explicitly focus on links among self-regulation, social participation, skills, and perceived competence to address parents’ expectations.