Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Breann Lamborn

Second Advisor

Kelly Dornbier


Autism Spectrum Disorder; Child; Occupational Therapy -- methods


The purpose of this scholarly project was to create a resource guide for occupational therapists working with Latino children diagnosed with ASD and their families. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that has become increasingly prevalent within the United States (Baio, Wiggins, and Christensen, 2018), with ASD rates triplining in Hispanic children between the years of 2002 through 2006 (Pedersen et al., 2002). Blanche, Diaz, Barretto, and Cermak (2015) indicated that multiple family members, not just primary caretakers, are aiding in caring for a child diagnosed with ASD. However, many extended households which may include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, lack knowledge regarding caring for a child with ASD which can negatively impact child outcomes and family dynamics. This is further becoming a concern as multigenerational households are also increasing (Lofquist, 2012).

In 2011, 10.3 percent, approximately 1.3 million households in the United States were Hispanic extended family households (Lofquist, 2012, p. 5). With an increase in both the extended family caring for the child and multigenerational households, practitioners are confronted with the challenge of holistically treating the family with incorporation of culturally appropriate interventions. However, many practitioners are unaware of how to properly implement family-centered care (Kuo et al., 2011) and research further lacks culturally evidence-based interventions for ASD (DuBay, Watson, & Zhang, 2018).

An extensive review of literature was completed on ASD, ASD in Latino children, family-centered care, family networks, culturally appropriate interventions for vii ASD, and the role of occupational therapy in working with ASD to develop a resource guide that would aid the occupational therapy process. The developers utilized reliable databases, textbooks, and the American Occupational Therapy Association to obtain information. Based on the findings and gap in literature, the developers selected the Family Systems Theory and the Ecology of Human Performance to develop the culturally adapted family-centered based resource guide for occupational therapists working with Latino children diagnosed with ASD and their families.