Parent/care givers' perception of the efficacy of a student based occupational therapy service with autistic spectrum disorder children

Bale, Rebecca
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This qualitative study explores the perceptions of parents/caregivers of the efficacy of a student based occupational therapy service with children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Key informant interviews were conducted with ten randomly selected parents/caregivers of children with ASD receiving occupational therapy from final year students of the University of the Witwatersrand. Data analysis generated six themes: Understanding of Occupational Therapy; Limitations of students as therapists; Lack of partnership; Inadequate structure of the program; Inefficacy of the service and, Desperate need of help. The study showed that the student based occupational therapy service was not effective because students were not in a position to provide a comprehensive treatment programme for the children. The findings highlight the need for the provision of a full time occupational therapy service at the CDC. A follow up study to explore experiences of students in the management of ASD is recommended.
M.Sc. (Occupational Therapy), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 2009
autism, student based occupational therapy, parent/care giver perception