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CE Article: Addressing the Occupational Needs of Parents Who Raise a Child With a Disability

Rondalyn Whitney, PhD, OTR/L, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, PA

Earn .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU/1 contact hour)


Because of the dynamic relationship among people, their occupations, and roles, and the environments in which they live, work, and play, all areas of life are at risk for impaired performance and quality of life when disability disrupts people’s engagement in occupation. Over the last 2 decades, there has been a marked increase in pediatric disabilities, many with co-occurring disruptive behaviors (Boyle et al., 2011; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.), which can create family impairment, isolation, and stigma. Occupational therapy practitioners must view childhood disabilities through a lens that considers how dynamic and interconnected changes within the family can affect health-related quality-of-life outcomes for the child. This article advances the use of the Person–Environment–Occupation (PEO) model to guide service delivery with clients with pediatric disabilities who have co-occurring socially disruptive behaviors. Recognizing the family as a system and the community as a powerful environment that influence client outcomes, the occupational therapy practitioner is able to consider the interdependence of the person (the child), the environment (the family, school, and community), and the foundational occupations for establishing habits and routines that are necessary for social participation and engagement.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the primary areas of family quality of life affected when a child has a disability.
  2. Identify outcomes related to overall family quality of life when treating a child with a pediatric developmental disability.
  3. Identify the primary focus of the PEO model as it guides practice.

Learning Level: Intermediate

Target Audience: Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants

Content Focus: Category 1: Domain of OT: Client Factors, Performance Skills; Category 2: OT Process: Evaluation, Intervention.

Reference Information:

Whitney, R., (2014). Addressing the Occupational Needs of Parents Who Raise a Child With a Disability. OT Practice, 19(1), CE-1–CE-8

      Additional Details:

      SKU: CEA0114
      Product Type: Download
      Year Published: 2014

      • AOTA Continuing Education
      • Practitioner
      • Continuing Education
      • Across Practice Areas/General Practice
      • Pediatrics
      • School System
      • ADHD
      • Socially Disruptive
      • Family Systems
      • Parenting
      • FQol
      • PEO