Lauren M. Little, John Sideris, Karla Ausderau, Grace T. Baranek; Activity Participation Among Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(2):177-185. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2014.009894.
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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.
What empirically derived dimensions characterize the participation of school-age children with ASD on the HCAS?
To what extent do child characteristics (i.e., child chronological age, child gender, autism severity) and family demographics (i.e., family income, maternal college education) predict dimensions of participation (as identified on the HCAS)?
The HCAS measures six factors of activity participation among school-age children with ASD, including Parent–Child Household Activities, Community Activities, Routine Errands, Neighborhood–Social Activities, Outdoor Activities, and Faith-Based Activities.
Occupational therapy practitioners may use the HCAS to characterize the frequency of activity participation among school-age children with ASD.
The dimensions that characterized the structure of activity participation may allow occupational therapy practitioners to prioritize areas of meaningful activity participation and strategize to incorporate intervention strategies that address child–family characteristics in that dimension.
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