Research Article  |   September 2015
Linking Sensory Factors to Participation: Establishing Intervention Goals With Parents for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author Affiliations
  • Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; roseann.schaaf@jefferson.edu
  • Ellen S. Cohn, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Clinical Professor and MSOT Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy, Boston University, College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Boston, MA
  • Janice Burke, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Dean, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Rachel Dumont is Entry-Level Master’s Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Amy Miller is Entry-Level Master’s Student, Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Zoe Mailloux, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Jefferson School of Health Professions, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Sensory Integration and Processing / Special Issue on Autism: Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 2015
Linking Sensory Factors to Participation: Establishing Intervention Goals With Parents for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2015, Vol. 69, 6905185005p1-6905185005p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018036
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2015, Vol. 69, 6905185005p1-6905185005p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.018036
Abstract

Parents often focus on independence in activities of daily living and social participation when setting goals for their children with autism spectrum disorders. Occupational therapy practitioners use clinical reasoning to translate these goals to define occupation-based outcomes. This article describes an exploratory analysis of 160 parent-identified goals for children with autism. We identified sensory integrative factors hypothesized to influence each goal and then categorized the goals using the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). Most goals were at the ICF participation and activity levels. Activities of daily living were the most common area of occupation identified, followed by social participation and play. Sensory reactivity and somatopraxis were the most frequently occurring sensory integrative factors. The value of addressing parent goals using a systematic reasoning process to identify factors affecting participation and the importance of measuring participation outcomes are discussed.