Research Article  |   May 2017
Supporting Participation for Children With Sensory Processing Needs and Their Families: Community-Based Action Research
Author Affiliations
  • Fern Silverman, EdD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Director, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Education and Rehabilitation, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA; fsilverman@salus.edu
  • Andrea Carr Tyszka, MS, OTR/L, SIPT, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Education and Rehabilitation, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Sensory Integration and Processing / Centennial Topics
Research Article   |   May 2017
Supporting Participation for Children With Sensory Processing Needs and Their Families: Community-Based Action Research
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104100010p1-7104100010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.025544
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May 2017, Vol. 71, 7104100010p1-7104100010p9. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.025544
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This qualitative study was part of efforts to develop and analyze specialized sensory-friendly, community-based programming at a local museum for families with children or young adults with sensory processing issues.

METHOD. A qualitative, descriptive framework was used, aimed at uncovering the experience of families in attendance. Using convenience sampling, 46 participants were recruited from six separate cohorts of parents across a 1.5-yr period, using a community-based action research approach.

RESULTS. Survey and interview data suggest that specialized programs with appropriate modifications in place improved the quality and the duration of museum visits for families with children or young adults with sensory processing needs, promoting both participation and well-being.

CONCLUSION. Adapted community events that increase participation in context may be a promising intervention to support well-being for people with disabilities and their families.