Date of Award
Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)
Achievement of developmental milestones are a key part of a child’s continuous development throughout childhood. There is a gap in developmental intervention during the transition period that takes place as a child is exiting early intervention. This gap may be extended if the child is exiting into no further services. Currently there are minimal resources for caregivers of children exiting early intervention to implement at home with their child in order to keep them on track developmentally. Based on an in-depth literature review, it has been found that caregivers would benefit from a resource to address the gap between services and entering school. Occupational therapists are in the unique position to be able to assist with providing a resource for caregivers based on their needs during the transition. Per caregiver report, these needs include: preparation for the future, life transitions, planning future goals, caregivers feeling equipped with resources, and especially, guidance for the transition into school (Dunst, Humphries, Raab, & Roper 2001; Zivani, Darlington, Feeny, & Watter, 2013). Considering the need for resources for caregivers to assist in keeping their child on track developmentally, it is anticipated that the following findings and product guide will assist caregivers and children during the “gap” between early intervention and kindergarten by providing age-appropriate developmental interventions. This can be done using the Model of Human Occupation, the Person-Environment-Occupation Model, and the Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model. It is important that occupational therapists, caregivers, and children work together to overcome developmental barriers and fill the gap.
Hoey, Parker and Rahlf, Marissa, "Filling the Gap: A Caregiver Guide for Children Transitioning out of Early Intervention" (2020). Occupational Therapy Capstones. 443.