Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass


Autistic Disorder; Parents -- education; Child


The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop an education class for parents of children with autism. When discussing the term autism with parents it can lead to confusion, the term autism has changed greatly in the past few decades and today agreement on what the term means is still lacking. With a diagnosis of autism the parents are also going to face many challenges and added stress throughout their daily lives. These known problems helped to determine the need to create the product of this scholarly project. A review of literature and research was conducted to collect accurate and current information on autism and the stressors having a child with the diagnosis of autism places on parents. Following the literature review the product was developed.

The product includes a power point presentation containing all information presented in the class for the instructor. The class provides information on the different issues that their child will face, the most common learning style of children with autism, interventions that can be utilized to address the issues, and coping skills for the parents. A handout is provided for parents with the pertinent information provided in the class and allows space for notes. The handout also includes a number of discussion questions to be utilized throughout the class, example interventions, activities to develop interventions, coping strategies for the parents, and a list of resources.

The intended results of the class are that the parents should be able to more effectively identify the specific difficulties and behaviors that their child exhibits and understand the causes of the problems. By providing intervention strategies to the parents, it is also hoped that these can be utilized to help the parents better manage the difficulties faced and reduce the behaviors exhibited by their child.